On November 4, 2014 Pinellas County Voters will be asked to increase their sales taxes 14% to build a train from St. Petersburg to Clearwater under the “Greenlight Pinellas” campaign. If passed, Pinellas will have the highest sales tax in the state at 8% and funnel $130 million annually out of the economy to the hands of government bureaucracies. On January 21, the citizens group “No Tax for Tracks” will be gathering in Largo at the Abundant Life Ministries Church to launch their campaign to stop the tax hike. They will be facing a “Greenlight Pinellas” war chest projected to be over a million dollar, largely raised by political insiders largely who will benefit directly from rail construction. The Sun Beam Times is asking its readers to attend the 1/21 event and join the effort to stop the rail tax hike. Citizens of Tampa stopped the tax hike with less than $30,000 in funding compared to the rail supporters’ $1 million plus campaign.
No Tax For Tracks Kicks off its campaign to stop the light rail tax hike Tuesday, 7 pm, 1/21/14 at Abundant Life Ministries 1550 Belcher Road South, Largo FL.
No Tax for Tracks is concerned that over half of the massive sales tax hike is being used to build a train that will still require an additional $1.2 billion in federal funds to complete. The train will not go to Tampa, connecting only Clearwater to St. Petersburg. They point to the failure in Charlotte, North Carolina which passed a voter-approved sales tax hike in 1998 to build 5 rail lines. Charlotte has built 1.5 the promised track (with a 100% cost overrun), is now out of money and has to push for more taxes to continue. It should be
noted that PSTA is now headed by Brad Miller, who spent six years with Charlotte rail as a project manager. The $130 million per year would quadruple the PSTA budget and buy more empty busses, according to No Tax for Tracks. The Greenlight Pinellas campaign has already benefitted from over $400,000 in taxpayer funds to hire marketing professional, develop a political campaign and buy ads featuring the Greenlight logo throughout the county.
The Sun Beam Times will be evaluating the proposed rail tax hike over the next several weeks to offer a sober look for its readers. Sun Beam Times founder and editor, Dr. David McKalip, is a financial supporter and member of the steering committee of No Tax for Tracks.