An independent poll conducted by Florida “Ax the Tax” continues to show super-majority opposition to a 14% sales tax hike to build a train from St. Pete to Clearwater. The July 22nd poll again shows that Pinellas voters don’t want the highest sales tax in the state to build a St. Pete to Clearwater train. The poll revealed that if the referendum were held today, 55.2% would vote “no” with only 34.7% voting yes and only 10% undecided. When educated about the size of the tax hike and the train destinations, opposition grows to 66%. This transparent, publicly released poll (compared to Greenlight’s polls) shows opposition to the rail tax growing from 61% opposition in January to 66% opposed now. This contradicts the “Yes Greenlight Pinellas” Secret Poll that claims support was “growing”. Of course, Yes for Greenlight don’t reveal how they get to that conclusion, just revealing what serves their propaganda goals. Maybe they should put their cards on the table like the other players at the table. Their bluff has been called.
This poll stands in stark contrast to the polling touted by the Greenlight Pinellas advocates in several ways. First, the questions have been revealed to the public including all demographics and detailed results. The Greenlight Pinellas campaign never releases their detailed results and methods, most likely because their questions are biased and designed to evoke positive responses after a long series of questions. These Greenlight push poll tactics have been exposed before here at the Sunbeam Times based on the good work of SaintPetersblog which conducted two back to back polls using different tactics and getting different results. When the simple question is asked “Do you plan to vote Yes to approve the Greenlight Pinellas transit referendum and sales tax increase on the ballot in November?” voters reject the tax 3:2. But when asked a similar questions after a long series of questions about wanting “better transit options” and “faster bus service” then a Greenlight poll produces a slim favorable vote, even though a majority in the same poll still oppose raising taxes to pay for it. The poll also differs since it is only of registered voters in Pinellas County who voted in both the 2010 and 2012 elections. Prior “favorable” Greenlight polls have been of people who are not voters and not residents of Pinellas County (see Deception number 8 in this post)!
The Ax the Tax 7/22 poll showing opposition to the rail tax hike is available at St. Pete Polls. The results are reproduced below after they were publicly released by Ax the Tax on their Facebook page. No doubt the Greenlight advocates will jump into full attack mode to dismiss these results. But these results are consistent with a valid poll conducted by the Sunbeam Times on January 27, 2014 showing 61% oppostion to the Greenlight tax hike. Instead of shedding Crocodile tears about these polls showing growing opposition to the tax, Yes for Greenlight should be transparent about its poll questions and demographics like their opponents. But given the nature of Greenlight Pinellas, don’t wait for transparency, openness and honesty from Greenlight supporters.
Ax the Tax Poll Results 7/22/14
If the referendum were held today to increase your sales tax to pay for the proposed light rail program how would you vote?
Undecided or not vote: 10.1%
Are you generally aware of the route that the light rail plan will take?
Not aware: 42.5%
Undecided or not vote 3.5%
If you were aware that the light rail plan would cost your household over $4,000 would you be more or less likely to vote for the rail tax?
More likely: 15.9%
Less Likely: 76.1%
Undecided or not vote 8.0%
If this tax passes Pinellas County’s sales tax rate will be 8% which would be the highest sales tax rate of any county in the state. Knowing this would you be more likely or less likely to vote for rail tax?
More likely: 26.1%
Less Likely: 68.0%
Undecided or not vote 5.9%
If you were aware that the route for the light rail system would be from downtown Clearwater to downtown St. Petersburg with 16 stops in between would you be more likely or less likely to vote for the rail tax?
More likely: 32.8%
Less Likely: 61.6%
Undecided or not vote 5.6%
Given all that you now know about the proposed light rail tax, are you more likely or less likely to vote for the rail tax?
More likely: 28.3%
Less Likely: 65.7%
Undecided or not vote 6.0%