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Group seeks to Stop Another Tax Shell Game Proposed for Public Transportation

The Pinellas Legislative Delegation to the Florida State House of Representatives is being asked to support a bill that would end property taxes for PSTA and create a new 1 cent sales tax to replace it.  This would create an 8% sales tax in Pinellas.  It would also nearly double the PSTA revenue stream to $118 million. No more need to ruin a more efficient government.  Then there would be more money to fund things like Bus Rapid Transit.  The Bus Rapid Transit and similar projects would then require more federal, state and local spending to pay for the infrastructure development, maintenance and staff support.


The Following legislators will be voting on increasing taxes for the PSTA this week.  Call them Today through Wednesday to let them know what you think.

Chair Jim Frische……………………….. 518-3902

Rep. Ed Hooper…………………………..727-724-3000 co-sponsoring this bill

Vice Chair Senator Jack Latvala…….727-556-6500

Rep. Peter Nehr …………………………. 727-943-4880

Senator Mike Fasano………………….. 727-848-5885

Senator Dennis Jones………………….. 549-6411

Rep. Jeff Brandes………………………..552-2573

Rep. Richard Corcoran…………………727-816-15805

You can attend the meeting and deliver your message personally –

Pinellas County Legislative Delegation Meeting —

October 27

9 am

The Palladium,

235 5th Ave N,

St. Petersburg, FL


South Pinellas 912 Chair Barbara Haselden has issued a call for action to dial up these local legislators and ask them to vote no on LB09 this thrusday.  If you can, go tell them to stop paying tax shell games.

As you recall, the PSTA just raised property taxes by $6.3 millions to pay for raises for their staff while all others in the county are suffering in this poor economy.
Here is Barb’s full call to action.

“Local Florida Senator Jack Latvala has devised a plan to generate double the millions needed to fund a bleeding  PSTA Bus Budget in Pinellas County operating the public bus system.

But this isn’t about the buses, it is about the excess millions this bill will generate that will be used to bring rail to Pinellas County.

This is about raising our county sales Tax to 8%.

The bill proposes to eliminate the transportation ad valorum tax on your real estate in exchange for a new 1% additional sales tax for “Transit”.

You will be told this is a tax swap, & will reduce your real estate taxes and that those handy tourists will pay 25% of the proposed additional 1% sales tax earmarked for “Transit”.  In truth, if passed, it will generate double the current PSTA revenue, from $54 million to an estimated $118 million.  We will be saddled with an 8% sales tax if this idea gets all the way through the Florida Legislature.  It starts or ends here this Thursday!   If you care you must take action as described.

The story in detail of what is happening is in the attachment LINKED HERE, and is the result of a one year investigation.  We at S Pinellas 912 have stayed on the trail by attending County meetings on rail, bus system and PSTA for months.  We have collected minutes, power point presentations given at various meetings and videos to document and piece together the long and winding trail of those elected officials in our county who will stop at nothing to get a light rail system even as the rest of the civilized world has grasped the new fiscal realities.

High Speed rail has died for the moment.  But Pinellas County continues to chug down the path for light rail and if you will read the attachment you will understand.  All they need is the money!

This is a Call For Your Action of Phone Calls!

We must stop this locally and Now

Call today, Tuesday and Wednesday!

Tell them to vote no on LB09 at the meeting

Tell them you do not want to double the psta Revenue!

Tell them there is no emergency, the psta milage has been raised and the heat is off!

Tell them to tell PSTA to cut routes and expenses and eliminate waste, reduce the Budget!

Chair Jim Frische……………………….. 518-3902

Rep. Ed Hooper…………………………..727-724-3000  co-sponsoring this bill

Vice Chair Senator Jack Latvala…….727-556-6500 

Rep. Peter Nehr …………………………. 727-943-4880

Senator Mike Fasano………………….. 727-848-5885

Senator Dennis Jones………………….. 549-6411

Rep. Jeff Brandes………………………..552-2573

Rep. Richard Corcoran…………………727-816-15805

Attend the meeting Thursday if you can!

Pinellas County Legislative Delegation Meeting  —

October 27

9 am

The Palladium,

235 5th Ave N,

St. Petersburg, FL

_____________________________

Source [1] As stated  by Denise Skinner, Interim Director of PSTA, on December 13, 2010. In meeting notes

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