Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Vinik Tax Hike DOUBLES County Sales Tax Revenue, Increases COUNTY'S Tax Rate 100%

Tampa, Fl
From: Eye On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert

Guest post from Hillsborough County resident and small business owner Tim Curtis.

Who among the "Transit Tax Hike supporters" will tell the whole truth about Vinik's transit tax hike petition effort to raise the total sales tax rate in Hillsborough County to 8% - the highest in the state?

The so-called “one penny” or $.01 increase isn't a "1%" or even a 14+% increase. This is a county levied tax hike. It is a 100% INCREASE in the COUNTY Sales Tax Rate.

As a small business owner, the current state sales tax rate I must collect and remit to the state is 6%. The other 1% of the current 7% total sales tax rate collected is the county sales tax rate. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that an increase from 1% to 2% is a 100% PERCENT INCREASE.

The transit tax hike will DOUBLE the county's sales tax rate with the vast majority of the 100%  increase in the county sales tax revenue paid by taxpayers in unincorporated Hillsborough.

Local media, including Sue Carlton and others at the Vinik bailed out Tampa Bay Times, continue misleading the public that this is a “one penny” tax hike. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Instead of this “mad dash” to unnecessarily take an additional $15-18 BILLION out of taxpayer pockets, the mad dash should be insisting elected officials properly prioritize the current and growing county revenues. Ensure our county roads, neglected for almost a decade, are fixed first and then lets talk about where additional transportation funding is needed.

Two years ago, the BOCC-appointed Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) diligently examined the county budget. They prepared a report, unanimously approved by the bipartisan CAC, containing recommendations on the budget. The CAC meticulously identified $3 BILLION in potential savings.

Why is there a “mad dash” to unnecessarily increase the county sales tax rate 100% instead of a “mad dash” to examine whether the identified potential savings in other areas of the county budget can be used to fund transportation?

Hillsborough County and the local economy is growing – both resulting in booming revenues unanticipated a few short years ago.

I personally know the misleading talking points being used by those gathering petition for the 100% county sales tax rate hike petition effort.

Last week at my place of business, I was approached by a nice young lady who asked if I would “sign her petition”. I engaged her in conversation and learned she had only recently relocated to Tampa from out of state and was doing this work to earn money.

I applaud her for that and assume a temp agency is being used to hire paid petition gatherers.

However, I asked some very pointed but polite questions about the petition and she told me she was told “it is a one per cent increase”. When I questioned her again and showed her the math questioning how that can be, she assured me that she was told “one per cent”.

Obviously, people that was hired to gather the transit tax hike petitions know nothing about Hillsborough County or the transportation issue.

The city of Tampa power brokers behind this Vinik and associates funded transit tax hike petition effort are being dishonest and intentionally using misleading information to deceive taxpayers and voters.

But are you getting a 100% raise or revenue increase next year?

If not, then why should the county?

Especially a 100% county revenue increase that will greatly benefit Vinik, his Under Water Street development and the city of Tampa…but will be paid for on the backs of taxpayers in unincorporated Hillsborough.

Eye Note: There is another citizen led transportation funding proposal that does NOT require any massive 30 year sales tax hike. Fund Transportation and No Tax Hike Is Needed!
Voters and taxpayers deserve to hear both proposals and be fully informed.
Unfortunately biased local media is suppressing information and intentionally shutting down any other proposal so they may cheerlead for Vinik's massive transit tax hike.

This post is contributed by EYE ON TAMPA BAY. The views expressed in this post are the blog publisher's and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher of Bay Post Internet.

Cross Posted with permission from: Eye On Tampa Bay

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

2018 Primary Election – Are you confused?

Putnam was my guy for Governor, but DeSantis has put on quite a run, I am struggling with my decision. 

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by:
E. Eugene Webb PhD
: So You Want to Blog.
You might think that since I write a lot about politics, I would have this primary election thing all figured out and be ready with a handful of recommendations on who you should vote for.
Well, you would be wrong.
Since I am a registered Republican, and my wife is a registered Democrat, we get all of mailers, door hangers and robocalls.
I have dutifully sorted through them, and I find little compelling information.
The debates are proving useless as it now seems the in-vogue thing is not to answer a debate question no matter what it is. I wish one of the debate moderators would ask a candidate for Governor what his/her name is, so we could maybe get one straight answer.
Watching a bunch of billionaires and millionaires slug it out in a so-called debate is entertaining but not particularly informative unless you consider the fact that no matter how much money these guy’s have very little of what they promise can actually be delivered.
I wish there was another woman running for governor. I am really over Gwen Graham playing the “mom” card.
In the Senate race, I am all in on Rick Scott, you will note in my disclosures, I am a contributor to his campaign.
There is something nice about having a governor who has more than enough money already, so he will not be easily influenced. It is also a concern of mine that if DeSantis wins the Governor’s office, he will immediately be on Trump’s short list for Vice President in 2020 since I firmly believe VP Mike Pence has had enough.
It would be much easier for DeSantis to roll with Trump. We might have Ron for a little over two years before he moves on, so his lieutenant Governor becomes a key decision.
In the long run, Florida might just be better off with Adam Putnam. Calm, cool headed, there won’t be a lot of fireworks from Tallahassee, but my bet is a lot of good things will get done. Adam will not be on Trump’s VP short list, so he can focus on all things Florida.
On the Democratic side, my wife is not a big fan of Jeff Green, thinks he looks a bit shifty as he talks out of the side of his mouth. She is also over the Gwen Graham “mom” thing but maybe not enough to vote for someone else. She seems to perk up when a Phillip Levine ad runs.
As to the local races, this election cycle has been a blizzard of mailers, TV ads and pseudo debates it is very hard to sort out who is the best candidate. County Commission, City Councils, School Board in all these races I would take the Tampa Bay Times recommendations with a grain of salt. Look for honesty and integrity.
I always have the biggest problem with the Judge candidates. We hardly know these people; the incumbent has a significant advantage so who do you vote for?
The Tampa Bay Times has long been a good source of information on the Judge races, although with the changes at the Times and its growing self-serving nature, you may want to do some research on your own.
It boils down to this. If you like leaders who are wealthy you have some to choose from. If you like normal, people who want to serve their community you have a few to choose from, and if you want professional politicians who like the lime light, the backslapping, the free meals and really don’t worry that much about what you think or what you need your choices are endless.
I am getting ready to fill out my mail in ballot, and if yours is still laying around somewhere in the house, now would be a good time to go get it and start making some decisions.
E-mail Doc at mail to: dr.gwebb@yahoo.com or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
See Doc's Photo Gallery at 
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Contributor to: Rick Scott for Senate 

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Friday, August 10, 2018

Tampa Bay Times Endorses Predator by Proxy Kathleen Peters

Tampa, Fl

Tampa Bay Beat
Published By Jim Bleyer

Screen Shot Courtesy Tampa Bay Guardian 
The editorial endorsement of State Rep. Kathleen Peters for the Pinellas County Commission represents another #MeToo fail for the Tampa Bay Times.
Peters, gal pal of disgraced predator, former State Sen. Jack Latvala, has been insensitive to the victims of sexual harassment but more than sympathetic to the perpetrators that permeate the political culture in Tallahassee.
In 2017, Peters voted to make confidential the identity of alleged victims in an allegation of sexual harassment . The law she voted for said that “the disclosure of such information could harm alleged victims by placing them at risk of further harassment and retaliation.”
“Six months later, Peters was calling on such alleged victims to step forward,” noted the Tampa Bay Guardian in a well-circulated blog post. “Any harm to the victims was apparently less important than defending her political  tag team partner and mentor Jack Latvala.”
The detailed Tampa Bay Guardian article is here.

Peters (center) was guest of honor at Church of Scientology dedication of Narconon center that uses a controversial rehab technology. Peters, Jack Latvala, and Chris Latvala are frequent high-profile guests at Scientology functions.
Peters, rendered ineffective by House Speaker Richard Corcoran when she prioritized Latvala’s agenda in the lower chamber, is in a tough three-way race for the District 6 county commission seat.  Her main foe is conservative Barb Haselden, an insurance executive who successfully led the 2014 fight against the Greenlight Pinellas sales tax increase.
Haselden’s NoTaxForTracks grassroots effort, though outspent more than seven to one by special interests, torpedoed Greenlight Pinellas by 62-38 percent.
GOP voters in the district need to ask themselves whether Peters will represent them, Latvala, or the Church of Scientology where she attends functions on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, though his gubernatorial aspirations have been shattered by a libido in overdrive, Latvala has been diligently doling out contributions from his PAC to candidates including longtime buddy Peters.
Some of the contributions from Latvala’s PAC went to other committees that made their own contributions to the campaigns of State Sen. Denise Grimsley, a Republican running for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, and Peters.
Since March, Latvala has given $105,000 to The Committee for Justice, Transportation and Business, which is run by longtime GOP consultant and lobbyist Dave Ramba. That committee directly gave $13,000 to Grimsley and a committee she controls on July 11, the same day it gave $1,000 to Peters’ campaign.
The paper’s support of Peters represents another case where the #MeToo movement doesn’t apply to its employees or political allies.  The Times excused the charges against Latvala to the bitter end—his resignation from the Florida Senate.  It harbors a proven predator, Barry Edwards, in its parent Poynter Institute, and has retained a high profile newsroom personality who harassed a coworker, forcing her departure in 2007.
Meanwhile, the Times will publish any unproven accusation against Kevin King, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman’s chief of staff.  The paper took it on the chin last year when Kriseman handily beat its favored candidate, Rick Baker, in its backyard.
The Times and the National Football League are the two most adept entities in America at exacerbating an already severe crisis into Armageddon-like proportions.
Scientologist Pat Clouden, head of the church’s Concerned Businessmen’s Association of Tampa Bay, managed to attract Peters to kick off a new initiative to spread panic about marijuana with the use of Scientology-printed materials from the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.               Cross Posted with permission from: Tampa Bay Beat 

This post is contributed by Tampa Bay Beat. The views and opinions expressed in this post are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Bay Post Internet or the publisher.
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