Governor Scott has a reputation of seeing through cheap political gamesmanship designed to fool the voters. He did it with high speed rail, saving Florida from billions in unfunded cost overruns for the project. Thankfully, he has done it again by vetoing the effort to foist a $80 million tax hike on the Citizens of Pinellas County in the name of a “tax swap”. In a cynical political charade, Senator Jack Latvala spearheaded an effort to have citizens be sold a false bill of goods. He pushed a bill that would have required the PSTA to zero out some property taxes if sales taxes were raised for a new light rail system in Pinellas. The problem is that there was no “swap” at all since property taxes bring in only about $35 million to PSTA. The new sales tax would have taken out over $124 million from our economy. This would have been a down payment on a light rail plan that is destined to fail on many fronts (see previous stories here: (PSTA’s $300,000 Propaganda campaign to fund TAX Train Wreck; Locals protest Pinellas County Commission: NO RAIL BOONDOGGLE!)
Thankfully local patriot groups prevailed over the scheming politicians like Sen. Jack Latvala and several County Commissioners who were ready to eschew their responsibility to make an informed decision as our elected representatives. Instead they were going to put it on the ballot as a referendum for a new 1 cent sales tax that would be supported for passage by hundreds of thousands of special interest dollars. Florida Tea Party groups also asked the Governr to veto the bill.
Thanks go to many people for their efforts to secure the veto, including Representative Jeff Brandes who always stood against the “tax swap”. Now taxpayers in Pinellas will have to keep working to keep this zombie of an idea from resurrecting again. Don’t put it past some very determined politicians and special interests to find another way to fleece the taxpayers for this ridiculous rail scheme.
Read more at http://railtaxfacts.com/.