Greenlight’s Pinellas and the Tax Swap Myth. Fact is Most People Will Pay a Brand New $110 Million Greenlight Tax!

old tax new tax greenlight

Don’t Pay Taxes to Bus System Now? GET READY TO COUGH UP AN ADDITIONAL $110 MIllion a year in sales taxes as property taxpayers are let off the hook!

(FALSE) Greenlight Pinellas Propaganda:  the Greenlight Pinellas plan is “not paid for with an additional tax – it’s paid for through a TAX SWAP”.

Recently, the well-funded Greenlight Pinellas campaign sent out its fourth mailer to County voters (see below). In it they claimed that the over $110 million annual Greenlight tax hike was a “fair tax” and made many misleading statements. They incorrectly state there is a “swap” of property tax for sales tax without mentioning that most people in Pinellas pay no property tax at all. They also do not point out that the so called “swap” would more than quadruple the amount of taxes collected by PSTA. Only the most corrupt of political campaigns can make a claim that an additional $110 million in tax revenue is “not paid for with an additional tax” and is a “tax swap”. The facts speak for themselves.

old tax new tax greenlight21. Greenlight is a 300%, $110 million annual tax revenue hike – not a tax “swap”. PSTA collects about $32 million annually from property taxes. If voters approve the 14% sales tax hike from seven to eight cents, it will generate $148 million in the first full year of collections (2017).

2. Most people in Pinellas do not pay any property tax –This is not a “swap” for themAccording to the Pinellas County Property Appraiser, about 234,000 claim the $25,000 homestead exemption, which likely reflects the approximate number of property taxpayers in Pinellas (page 5 of report here). There are about 929,000 residents of Pinellas County according to the US Census bureau (2013). That moves the $32 million property tax burden from 234,000 people to 694,000 new people (three times as many) currently paying no taxes whatsoever to PSTA currently. Certainly, there are different ways to “slice” these numbers, based on numbers in household and age of payer, but it is clear that the general population will be paying an extra $110 million every year to PSTA in taxes more than currently.  It is usually one or at most two people per household paying property taxes and there are many “visitors” paying property tax too. That doesn’t seem to concern Greenlight Proponents when they claim visitors will pay sales taxes too. They also don’t seem to care that at least 2/3 of the sales taxes will be borne by Pinellas residents who will have to live in a county with the highest sales tax in the state if Greenlight passes.

As Greenlight propaganda continues to roll out from the well-healed land developers and politically connected, remember they have everything to gain while you have everything to use.  This is yet another example of how citizens can’t trust most of what Greenlight supporters say.

glp mailer four tax swap

Greenlight’s latest propaganda




3 Replies:

  1. Who is they?

    In the last couple of days I saw a sickening pro ‘Greenlight Pinellas’ TV ad. I used to wonder how people could be so cheerful as they blantantly lie. Sadly, I’ve concluded that lying doesn’t faze them; like too many these days, they have no shame. And hordes of LIVs are poised to carelessly throw in with them.

    Somehow, it has to stop. Please – keep the presses rolling.

    1. Westech

      Sadly there is a small group of “Stepford Wives” type of mindless Kool-Aid drinkers roving the neighborhoods knocking on doors and peddling Greenlight propaganda. Mercifully, in our neighborhood, they’re encountering “No Tax For Tracks” signs everywhere.

  2. Norm Roche

    Actually, everyone who lives, rents, or leases property in Pinellas – as well as everyone who purchases anything from a Pinellas business (including tourists) – does in fact pay into the PSTA ad valorem. Unless of course you believe that all property owners (residential and commercial) in Pinellas simply pay thier property taxes out of the goodness of thier heart.

    Worked into the price of any goods or services is the cost of producing said goods or services…including labor, insurances, real taxes, tangible taxes, service and municipal franchise fees, et al. So, to some degree, everyone does pay into PSTA currently.

    There’s no swap about this; this is a huge and unnecessary tax increase ($100+ million a year) during a still-fragil economic environment that can Ill-afford it. An improved and more functional busing system can be achieved today within the current PSTA funding and governance structure. No new tax is needed, and we certainly do not need another $100mm a year sapped out of our local economy. This cart needs to go back behind the horse where it belongs.

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