Sunday, February 28, 2021

Breaking: No Tax For Tracks Issues Statement on Yesterday's FL Supreme Court Ruling Striking the AFT Transit Tax

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

 Orignally Posted FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2021

No Tax For Tracks, the formal opposition to the All For Transportation transit tax, has issued the following Statement on Florida Supreme Court Ruling Striking the AFT transit tax.

 No Tax For Tracks Statement

On Florida Supreme Court Striking Down the All for Transportation Transit Sales Tax

Tampa, FL—February 26, 2021  NoTaxForTracks celebrates the Florida Supreme Court ruling yesterday that threw out the 1% All for Transportation (AFT) transit sales tax in its entirety as unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful.  

NoTaxForTracks thanks Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White for filing his legal challenge against AFT in 2018. We are grateful to those who supported NoTaxForTracks and our effort to get the truth out about AFT’s deceptive tax hike referendum.  

NoTaxForTracks Officer Sharon Calvert stated, “AFT was a 30 year $16 Billion rail tax that was a massive transfer of wealth from unincorporated Hillsborough to the City of Tampa. The wealthy downtown Tampa developers and special interests who funded AFT do not care about road needs in unincorporated Hillsborough.”  

AFT had charter language that conflicted with Florida State law. NoTaxForTracks publicly warned about AFT’s potential legal issues and provided that warning to local media in 2018 who failed to report about them or inform the voting public. 

With the AFT transit tax gone, this is a time for a Reset.   

NoTaxForTracks Chair Karen Jaroch stated, “The AFT sales tax prohibited funding new road capacity and prioritized costly rail, that was already on the road to obsolescence, before the pandemic landed the knockout punch. This tax unlawfully took $300 for every man, woman and child in Hillsborough and the reset needs to include returning these funds back to them in the form of a rebate, which has the added benefit of providing a much-needed economic stimulus.”  

NoTaxForTracks spokesperson Jim Davison stated “The Supreme Court decision helps our struggling small businesses in a time of the pandemic and provides a second chance to fix our roads and transportation issues in a more equitable manner. 

NoTaxForTracks spokesperson Tom Gaitens stated “Tyler Hudson, AFT and the BOCC owe the residents an apology for their malfeasance and violations of the Public Trust. Their rush to place a tax on Hillsborough County residents to fund their rail transit dreams not only cost taxpayers $472 million and unnecessary legal expenses, but also lost time in improving, widening and building new roads to meet the ever increasing population. Common sense tells us".  

Hillsborough County has transportation needs that must be addressed and we will stay engaged on this issue. 


A copy of the No Tax For Tracks Statement can be found here. 

Posted by Sharon Calvert

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

Friday, February 26, 2021

Manatee County Commission – Corrupt to a Fault

WEST COAST         

Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD 

One of the most certain ways to tell if a governmental unit such as a city, a county or a major state department is corrupt is to look at the way they handle disciplining their own board members.

Just in case you have not been following the latest Manatee County Commission debacle regarding the distribution of the Corona vaccine, here are some links to bring you up to date.

WFLA 8 On Your Side Staff, by: Chip Osowski: Manatee sheriff investigating whether Commissioner Vanessa Baugh broke state law with vaccine event

Tampa Bay Times by Ryan Callihan: DeSantis threatens to divert vaccines from Manatee after backlash on access

WTSP by Liz Crawford: 'I was horrified': Rep. Crist on DeSantis' vaccine site in wealthy Manatee County neighborhood.

FOX 13 By Kimberly Kuizon: Crist pushes US Attorney General to investigate DeSantis, vaccine clinics

The public in Manatee County is incensed over Commissioner Baugh's actions and even Charlie Crist, who is really difficult to rile up, and I know Charlie well, was in his words horrified at what went wrong in the DeSantis ordered Lakewood Ranch pop-up vaccine site.

There's just no excuse for what Commissioner Baugh did. She violated the law; she violated the public trust; she insulted everybody who lives in Manatee County, and made the whole vaccine registration program look like a farce.

Then, when her fellow commissioners had the opportunity to boot her out of her position as chair and probably off the County Commission, what do they do? They vote four to three to keep her right there.

What should that tell you? What else is going on behind the scenes at the Manatee County Commission? Who else is wielding influence over the commissioners? Who has what on whom?

Somebody's got something on someone, or they would have voted to throw her out and make themselves look like heroes. It seems to me maybe they are more afraid of retribution from the chair after she's out than worried about her illegal activities while she's in the Commission chair seat.

If her fellow commissioners are worried about her future, I would offer they needn't be. I'm sure she has a great future out in Lakewood Ranch at SMR.

Check out this link FOX 13 By Kimberly Kuizon and Haley Hinds: Baugh to remain Manatee County Commission chairperson, but deputies now investigating vaccine site

I was most disappointed in commissioner at large George Kruse's vote to keep Baugh on the County Commission and especially keep her on as chair. It just didn't make any sense.

Asking the Manatee County Sheriff to investigate this issue is akin to putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Not likely to be very objective.

Representative Christ’s call for the Department of Justice to investigate this whole mess is a good one simply because there certainly isn't anyone in the DeSantis administration who would give a complete and fair assessment to the illegal actions of this public servant.

The Manatee County Commission continues to struggle with extricating itself from the politics of the 60s and meeting the needs and the responsibilities of governing in a modern society.

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