Friday, May 30, 2014

Know the GreenLight Ordinance Before you Vote

If you have not actually looked at what we being asked to put into law with the GreenLight referendum, take a few minutes to read the Ordinance and my analysis. Click here:  Sales Tax (GreenLight) Ordinance Review

Here are few comments from people who have read the GreenLight Sales Tax Ordinance.

Charlie -The more I read, the more concerned I become... with all the money on the PSTA's side this is turning into David versus Goliath.

Jack - PSTA is spending over $1 million in taxpayers' money to sell us on the Greenlight plan. They are using our money to convince us to let them take MORE of our money! They are doing a good job of selling us a pig in a poke. Then there is the Friends of Greenlight organization. They are the ones who will actually get most of our money - the realtors, developers contractors, Duke Energy (our pals who just raised our rates another 7% last year - they will get millions of $$$ every year to run the electric train. So far they have raised about $500,000 for advertising, half that came from the National Realtors Association. Of course a lot of our money will end up back in the politicians' pockets - that is why they are so anxious to get it passed. We all should be voting NO on Greenlight (or yes on another tax increase).

Brian - "As Always Sir, Right on Point...Large Article in Business Section of Times PAC today about Bristol-Myers Squibb coming to town...NO WHERE in the article about the WHY They Came here ..."Rail"...CHEAPER Wages -- Apparently the Biggest Selling Point that Florida has to Offer...Cheaper Cost of Living (1 and possibly 2 NEW Taxes coming to Pinellas County, not to Mention Tax Increases) for just how long...and Availability of Workforce...VOTE NO as if your ability to continue to live in "Americas Riviera" Depended On It..."

Be an informed voter and be sure to like this on your Facebook page and send it to you friends so they will be able to make an informed decision in the November Election.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb)Friend request. See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet and St.Pete Patch, Gulfport Patch, Clearwater Patch, Palm Harbor Patch, Largo Patch.
Disclosures: Contributor to No Tax for Tracks
submit to reddit

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Baseball, Soccer and Bill Edwards

In December of 2013 Bill Edwards purchased controlling interest in the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Edwards has a penchant and a passion for buying things in downtown St. Pete and turning them around. Things like the Mahffey Theater, Baywalk and now the Rowdies.

The Rowdies play at Al Lang field in downtown St. Pete. Edwards's purchase of the team did not include the stadium.

Currently Al Lang, in a growing state of disarray, is owned by the City of St. Pete and managed by St. Petersburg Baseball Commission who promotes former Mayor Bill Foster's "International Baseball" games.

Edwards, who would like the playing area converted to a first class soccer field, has offered to pay for the work, with the provision that there be no more baseball played at AL Lang.

Edwards request accomplished a couple of things. First it got the Rowdies a lot of media attention, second it elevated the discussion of what should be done with Al Lang Stadium and the current management contract.

I'm going with Edwards on this one. Small ball hasn't really done a lot for St. Pete lately except complain about everything from the fans to the Trop. From the head office of MLB down to the coach there is more complaining about St. Pete than supporting.

Attendance may be poor in St. Pete but overall baseball attendance has been slowly slipping.

Soccer as a sport has been on the rise for the last 10 years or so and if the Kriseman administration is really interested in turning downtown in to hip destination, then soccer makes a lot more sense that an unused baseball stadium.

Mayor Kriseman's response, Saintpetersblog - Rick Kriseman Pottery Barn-inspired response to Bill Edwards was inappropriate, may be as much politically motivated as it is practical.

Edwards is one of the most influential players in downtown St. Pete and he has and continues to put his own resources a risk to turn lemons into lemonade. No doubt there is some concern about the growing Edwards influence in downtown St. Pete and former mayor Republican Rick Baker's presence in the Edwards organization probably only heightens the concern.

All Lang is a politically hot potato, and the Mayor may just want to avoid any more waterfront issues, but if it's the millennials the Mayor wants to populate St. Pete, soccer is their game.

Kriseman would be wise to get onboard with the Edwards idea. Three sold out Soccer games at Al Lang probably put more people and revenue into downtown St. Pete that the entire arts community contributes in a year.

E-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net. Or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook and Twitter.
Disclosures: Contributor to
No Tax for Tracks
submit to reddit

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

GreenLight Pinellas - An Analysis of Ordinance 13- 34

In the November 4, 2014 election Sales Tax Referendum you are NOT voting directly on the GreenLight Plan.

For your convenience here is the entire Sales Tax Ordinance 13- 34 with comments from all 12 of my previous Posts.

This is the language you will see on the Ballot:
Levy of Countywide One Percent Sales Surtax to Fund Greenlight Pinellas Plan for Public Transit.
Summary: Shall the improvement, construction, operation, maintenance and financing of public transit benefiting Pinellas County, including an expanded bus system with bus rapid transit, increased frequency and extended hours, local passenger rail and regional connections be funded by levying a one percent sales surtax from January 1, 2016 until repealed, with the proceeds deposited in a dedicated trust fund? 
___ YES, for the 1% sales surtax 
___ NO, against the 1% sales surtax 

Read that title very carefully. You are voting to make Ordinance 13- 34 a law. This is an important distinction, because Ordinance 13- 34 will become a law if the referendum succeeds, but the GreenLight Plan does not.

Here is a link to the actual Ordinance (Law) that you are being asked to approve in the sales Tax Referendum: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance.

            ORDINANCE  NO. 13- 34 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF PINELLAS COUNTY LEVYING THE CHARTER COUNTY AND EGIONALTRANSPORTATION SYSTEM SURTAX SUBJECT TO ELECTOR APPROVALAT A RATE OF ONE PERCENT; ESTABLISHING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OFTHE SURTAX; PROVIDING FOR ADMINISTRATION, COLLECTION, ANDENFORCEMENT OF THE SURTAX; PROVIDING FOR THE DISTRIBUTION, USE, AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF SURTAX PROCEEDS; CALLING FOR A REFERENDUM ELECTION FOR APPROVAL OF
submit to reddit

Friday, May 23, 2014

Sales Tax Ordinance No 13- 34: Sections 8, 9, 10

You are not directly voting on the GreenLight Plan. You are voting to make Ordinance 13 -34 a law. This is an important distinction, because Ordinance 13- 34 will become a law if the referendum succeeds, but the GreenLight Plan does not.
                                                                                                       
This Post continues a series where we look at The Sales Tax Ordinance, Ordinance 13- 34, and compare it to what is being said by the sales tax supporters.
 
Here is a link to the actual Ordinance (Law) that you are being asked to approve in the sales Tax Referendum: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance.

Section 9. Severability. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or provision of this Ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any Court of competent jurisdiction, such holding shall not be construed to render the remaining provisions of this Ordinance invalid or unconstitutional.

This Section is extremely important in this Ordinance given its poor construction. Legal challenges are almost a certainty. Any successful legal challenge to a specific Section of the Ordinance does not affect the remaining Sections.

In other Words it would require a legal action challenging the entire Ordinance to cause a full repeal if you vote to make this Ordinance a law; something that would be lengthy, costly and unlikely to happen.

Section 10. Inclusion in the Pinellas County Code. The provisions of this Ordinance shall be included and incorporated in the Pinellas County Code, as an addition or amendment thereto, and shall be appropriately renumbered to conform to the uniform numbering system of the Pinellas County Code.

This Section requires that should the Ordinance be approved by voters it will become part of the Pinellas County Code. That means it has the full force of law, and requires significant and often complicated legal action to change or modify it once approved by the Voters.

This Ordinance has been crafted by PSTA to be a broad as possible, with few controls, no reporting requirements and undefined interlocal agreements.

While it appears that the County may be in control, actually do to the overlapping of County Board of Commissioners and the PSTA Board and the number of elected officials whose jurisdictions could or will benefit from the way the sales tax monies are spent and the lack of defined controls;
the PSTA will actually be in control.

PSTA will control the money so PSTA Board members who are elected officials could be put in a position of following PSTA suggestions if they want their jurisdictions to be part of the plan.

Section 11. Filing of Ordinance; Effective Date. In addition to the notices to the Department of Revenue as provided herein, pursuant to Section 125.66, Florida Statutes, a certified copy of this Ordinance
submit to reddit

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Sales Tax Ordinance No. 13- 34: Sections 7 and Section 8

You are not directly voting on the GreenLight Plan. You are voting to make Ordinance 13 -34 a law. This is an important distinction, because Ordinance 13- 34 will become a law if the referendum succeeds, but the GreenLight Plan does not.

This Post continues a series where we look at The Sales Tax Ordinance, Ordinance 13- 34, and compare it to what is being said by the sales tax supporters.

Here is a link to the actual Ordinance (Law) that you are being asked to approve in the sales Tax Referendum: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance.

Section 7. Notice of Election. The Clerk shall publish notice of the referendum in accordance with Section 100.342, Florida Statutes, on the following dates: October 1, 2014 and October 15,2014.

This Section sets the legal requirements for publication of Notice of the Sales Tax Referendum.

Section 8. Notice to the Department of Revenue and Department of State. Upon completion of the referendum election called for in this Ordinance, the results of such election shall be certified in accordance with Chapter 100 and Chapter 102, Florida Statutes, to the Department of State. If it is determined upon certification of the results that the majority of the electors of Pinellas County voting in the referendum election are in favor of the levy of the Surtax, the Clerk shall, within ten (1 0) days of such certification, but in no event later than November 16, 2015, submit a copy of this Ordinance and the certification of the election results to the Florida Department of Revenue. The notice shall specify that the Surtax will go into effect on January 1, 2016, and will be in effect until repealed as provided by law, that a surtax of 1% will be imposed and provide such other information as the Department of Revenue requires by rule. The Clerk shall also provide the additional notice to the Department of Revenue required pursuant to Section 212.054(7)(b), Florida Statutes.

This Section establishes the time frame, notice and actions of the State Clerk who will notify the Department of Revenue and the Tax will go into effect January 1 2016. 

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb)Friend request. See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet and St.Pete Patch, Gulfport Patch, Clearwater Patch, Palm Harbor Patch, Largo Patch.
Disclosures: Contributor to No Tax for Tracks
submit to reddit

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sales Tax Ordinance No 13- 34 Sections 5 and 6

You are not directly voting on the GreenLight Plan. You are voting to make Ordinance 13 -34 a law. This is an important distinction, because Ordinance 13- 34 will become a law if the referendum succeeds, but the GreenLight Plan does not.

This Post continues a series where we look at The Sales Tax Ordinance, Ordinance 13- 34, and compare it to what is being said by the sales tax supporters.

Here is a link to the actual Ordinance (Law) that you are being asked to approve in the sales Tax Referendum: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance.

Section 5. Conduction of Referendum Election. The Board hereby calls a referendum election and directs the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections to conduct such election in conjunction with the General Election on November 4, 2014, for the submission of a referendum question to the electors of Pinellas County to determine whether a majority of electors voting in the election are in favor of the levy of the Surtax on transactions occurring within Pinellas County as provided by law. Reasonable costs associated with conducting said election shall be paid by the County.

This Section formally calls for the Referendum to approve the sales tax increase and indicates the County will pay for the costs associated with the referendum.  

Section 6. Ballot Title and Summary. (a) In accordance with the Acts, and Section 101.161, Florida Statutes, the following ballot title and summary are approved for submission to the electors of Pinellas County, Florida, for approval or rejection by a majority of the electors voting in the referendum election scheduled for November 4, 2014. The official ballot shall be in substantially the following form:
Title: Levy of Countywide One Percent Sales Surtax to Fund Greenlight Pinellas Plan for Public Transit.
Summary: Shall the improvement, construction, operation, maintenance and financing of public transit benefitting Pinellas County, including an expanded bus system with bus rapid transit, increased frequency and extended hours, local passenger rail and regional connections be funded by levying a one percent sales surtax from January 1, 2016 until repealed, with the proceeds deposited in a dedicated trust fund? 
___ YES, for the 1% sales surtax 
___ NO, against the 1% sales surtax 

This is the actual language you will see on your ballot.

The Title of this referendum contains the Words Greenlight Pinellas Plan but there is no place in the actual Ordinance you are being asked to approve that specifically assigns or dedicates any specific funds or percentage of funds to the GreenLight plan. The Ballot language was carefully crafted to support the preplanned marketing effort and to mislead voters.

This is the only place these words (GreenLight Plan) appear in this Ballot Language and they only appear one other place the Sales Tax Ordinance.

The Objective here is to attempt to tie all of that advertising and information you will be getting in the mail supporting this initiative to the ballot referendum.

You will note that the official Ballot Language Summary does not contain the words Greenlight Pinellas.

Section 7. Notice of Election. The Clerk shall publish notice of the referendum in accordance with Section 100.342, Florida Statutes, on the following dates: October 1, 2014 and October 15,2014.

This Section sets the formal Publication Notices that will appear in the legal section of a local news paper, and be posted on public bulletin boards.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb)Friend request. See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet and St.Pete Patch, Gulfport Patch, Clearwater Patch, Palm Harbor Patch, Largo Patch.
Disclosures: Contributor to No Tax for Tracks


submit to reddit

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday May 18, 2014 - 245,000 Reasons to Vote No on GreenLight Pinellas

In the current financial filings regarding campaign contributions, GreenLight Pinellas received $245,000 from the NATIONAL Association of Realtors. That's not the Pinellas County Association of Realtors or the Florida Association of Realtors it is the NATIONAL Association of Realtors.

Realtors are all about making their commission, but very reluctant to give any of it up, so why would the NATIONAL Association of Realtors dump almost one quarter million dollars into a political campaign to improve bus service in Pinellas County?
submit to reddit

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sales Tax Ordinance 13- 34: Section 4 c, d

You are not directly voting on the GreenLight Plan. You are voting to make Ordinance 13- 34 a law. This is an important distinction, because Ordinance 13- 34 will become a law if the referendum succeeds, but the GreenLight Plan does not.

This Post continues a series where we look at The Sales Tax Ordinance, Ordinance 13- 34, and compare it to what is being said by the sales tax supporters.

Here is a link to the actual Ordinance (Law) that you are being asked to approve in the sales Tax Referendum: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance.

Section 4
 (c) The County shall enter into the Inter local Agreement with PST A for the distribution and use of the proceeds of the Surtax as provided in subsection 4(b) herein. Any Surtax proceeds deposited in the Transportation System Surtax Trust Fund shall be remitted to the PST A in accordance with the Interlocal Agreement, and shall be used for the purposes authorized in subsection 4(b) herein,
submit to reddit

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Sales Tax Ordinance 13- 34: Section 4 a, b

You are not directly voting on the GreenLight Plan. You are voting to make Ordinance 13- 34 a law. This is an important distinction, because Ordinance 13- 34 will become a law if the referendum succeeds, but the GreenLight Plan does not.

This Post continues a series where we look at The Sales Tax Ordinance, Ordinance 13- 34, and compare it to what is being said by the sales tax supporters.

Here is a link to the actual Ordinance (Law) that you are being asked to approve in the sales Tax Referendum: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance.

Section 4. Distribution, Use and Financial Management of Surtax Proceeds.
(a) The Surtax shall be collected by the Department of Revenue and distributed monthly to the County. The County shall deposit the proceeds into the Transportation System Surtax Trust Fund, which fund is hereby created, to be held by the Pinellas County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller ("Clerk") solely for the benefit and distribution in accordance with the terms of this Ordinance and any inter local agreements providing for the distribution of Surtax proceeds.

Note that there are NO terms of revenue distribution in the Ordinance and there is no definition of the terms of the undefined interlocal agreements. The funds may be held by the County but should they be pledged as bond payments, the bond covenants will set the terms for distribution.

(b) Subject to the limitations imposed by applicable law, the Surtax proceeds shall be used for the improvement, construction, operation, and maintenance of public transit benefitting Pinellas County,
submit to reddit

Monday, May 12, 2014

SUNDAY May 11, 2014 What the Readers are Saying About The Sales Tax Ordinance

Since my Posts appear on several blog sites, here is a sample of some of the reader comments about the
proposed Sales Tax Ordinance.

Larry - Is there anything in the way of a plan or specific description of what it is that the money is to be spent on. Just giving a ton of money to a bunch of political hacks or clueless well-intentioned people is not my idea of acceptable. I am very skeptical of any program involving tax dollars that is not clearly spelled out.

I am strongly in favor of a comprehensive, affordable and convenient system of public transportation, but I want to see an integrated plan with buses connecting with light rail, etc., and going where people need to go.
Some day we, the general public, will have to break up the love affair with the individual auto, so
submit to reddit

Ordinance No 13- 34 Sales Tax: Sections 1-3

You are not directly voting on the GreenLight Plan. You are voting to make Ordinance 13 -34 a law. This is an important distinction, because Ordinance 13- 34 will become a law if the referendum succeeds, but the GreenLight Plan does not.

This Post continues a series where we look at The Sales Tax Ordinance, Ordinance 13- 34, and compare it to what is being said by the sales tax supporters.

Here is a link to the actual Ordinance (Law) that you are being asked to approve in the sales Tax Referendum: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF OUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA, in a meeting duly assembled this 10th day of December, 2013 that

Section I. Incorporation of Recitals. The above findings and recitals are hereby incorporated herein and made a part of this Ordinance.

This Section insures that all of the Comments in the Whereas Section and Preamble are included as part of the Ordinance that will become law if approved.

Section 2. Surtax. Imposition and Levy of the Charter County and Regional Transportation System

(a) There is levied and imposed by Pinellas County ("County"), the Charter County and Regional Transportation System Surtax authorized by Section 212.055(1), Florida Statutes, throughout the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Pinellas County, at the rate of one percent (1%) on
submit to reddit

Friday, May 9, 2014

Sales Tax Ordinance 13- 34 The Whereas Part 2

Actually you are not directly voting on the GreenLight Plan. You are voting to make Ordinance 13- 34 a law. This is an important distinction, because Ordinance 13- 34 will become a law if the referendum succeeds, but the GreenLight Plan does not.

This Post continues a series where we look at The Sales Tax Ordinance, Ordinance 13- 34, and compare it to what is being said by the sales tax supporters.

Here is a link to the actual Ordinance (Law) that you are being asked to approve in the sales Tax Referendum: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance.

We continue with the Whereas Section:

WHEREAS, the Board finds that the transportation improvements will enhance access to major employment centers in Pinellas County, increasing the County's economic competitiveness, promote walkable communities, enhance mixed-use neighborhoods, promote economic and community redevelopment, protect stable neighborhoods, expand mobility choices for the citizens and visitors of
submit to reddit

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sales Tax Ordinance No 13- 34 WHEREAS Part 1

Here is a link to the actual Ordinance (Law) that you are being asked to approve in the sales Tax Referendum: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance.

Actually you are not directly voting on the GreenLight Plan. You are voting to make Ordinance 13 -34 a law. This is an important distinction, because Ordinance 13- 34 will become a law if the referendum succeeds, the GreenLight Plan does not.

The WHEREAS Section:
WHEREAS, Sections 212.054 and 212.055(1), Florida Statutes (the "Acts"), authorize certain counties in Florida, including charter counties, to levy a discretionary sales surtax referred to as the "Charter County and Regional Transportation System Surtax" ("Surtax") subject to elector approval; and

WHEREAS, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners ("Board") previously declared its intent in Resolution No. 13-19 to place a referendum question on the November 4, 2014 ballot seeking approval of a levy of up to one percent Surtax to fund countywide transportation projects; and

Note in this WHEREAS the law as provided for by State Statute and established by this Ordinance is constructed to allow a sales sir tax UP TO 1% but in fact the County proposes to levy the entire 1% from day one. 

There is no PSTA budget or plan that requires this fourfold increase in PSTA revenue for the very first year of the sales sir tax.

WHEREAS, the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority ("PST A"), a transportation authority created by a special act to purchase, own and/or operate transit facilities within Pinellas County, has developed a plan for the improvement, construction, equipping, operation, maintenance and financing of public
submit to reddit

Monday, May 5, 2014

What Are You Actually Voting for in the Sales Tax Referendum?

Here is a link to the actual Ordinance (Law) that you are being asked to approve in the sales Tax Referendum: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance.

Actually you are not directly voting on the GreenLight Plan. You are voting to make Ordinance 13 -34 a law. This is an important distinction, because Ordinance 13- 34 will become a law if the referendum succeeds, the GreenLight Plan does not.

This Post begins a 12 Post series where we look at The Sales Tax Ordinance, Ordinance 13- 34, and compare it to what is being said by the sales tax supporters.

ORDINANCE  NO. 13- 34 
AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF PINELLAS COUNTY LEVYING THE CHARTER COUNTY AND EGIONALTRANSPORTATION SYSTEM SURTAX SUBJECT TO ELECTOR APPROVALAT A RATE OF ONE PERCENT; ESTABLISHING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OFTHE SURTAX; PROVIDING FOR ADMINISTRATION, COLLECTION, ANDENFORCEMENT OF THE SURTAX; PROVIDING FOR THE DISTRIBUTION, USE, AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF SURTAX PROCEEDS; CALLING FOR A REFERENDUM ELECTION FOR APPROVAL OF IMPOSITION OF THE SURTAX; PROVIDING A BALLOT TITLE AND SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSED REFERENDUM QUESTION; PROVIDING FOR NOTICE OF THE REFERENDUM ELECTION; PROVIDING FOR NOTICE TO BE GIVEN TO THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE; PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE PINELLAS COUNTY CODE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

The paragraph presented above in its format from Ordinance No 13- 34 is called the Preamble and appears at the top of the Ordinance document. The Preamble describes in legally acceptable terms what is in the Ordinance that follows.

Here is a Breakdown:

AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OFPINELLAS COUNTY LEVYING THE CHARTER COUNTY AND EGIONALTRANSPORTATION SYSTEM SURTAX SUBJECT TO ELECTOR APPROVALAT A RATE OF ONE PERCENT;
This Section establishes the Board of County Commissioners legal authority to levy the sales tax increase.

ESTABLISHING THE EFFECTIVE DATE OFTHE SURTAX;
This section establishes the County Board of Commissioners ability to set the effective date of the tax.

PROVIDING FOR ADMINISTRATION, COLLECTION, AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE SURTAX;
This section establishes the legal grounds for the administration and collection of the sales tax

PROVIDING FOR THE DISTRIBUTION, USE, AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT OF SURTAX PROCEEDS;
This Section sets up the overall responsibility for management of the proceeds of the sales tax.

CALLING FOR A REFERENDUM ELECTION FOR APPROVAL OF IMPOSITION OF THE SURTAX;
This section sets up the referendum mechanism and calls for a public vote.

PROVIDING A BALLOT TITLE AND SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSED REFERENDUM QUESTION;
This Section provides for the actual Ballot language you will see on your mail in or voting booth ballot.

PROVIDING FOR NOTICE OF THE REFERENDUM ELECTION;
This Section provides for public notice of the Referendum vote.

PROVIDING FOR NOTICE TO BE GIVEN TO THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE;
This Section provides for a legal notice to be sent to the Florida department of Revenue should the Referendum pass indicating the County will begin collecting the tax

PROVIDING FOR INCLUSION IN THE PINELLAS COUNTY CODE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY;
This Section does two important things. First should the Referendum succeed, it incorporates the language of the Referendum Ordinance No. 13- 34 into the County Code as Law and provides Severability which means if any Section of Ordinance No. 13- 34 is found to be illegal; the finding does affect any other Section of the Sales Tax Ordinance.

PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
This Section provides for the setting of an effective date for the implementation of the Sale Tax increase should the Referendum pass.

Comment
The Preamble contains a legally acceptable summary phrasing of the Sections that follow in the actual Ordinance that will become law.

In the next Post in this series we will look at the WHEREAS Section which establishes the motivation and methodology that caused the Sales Tax Ordinance and referendum to be proposed.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb)Friend request. See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet, and St.Pete Patch, Gulfport Patch, Clearwater Patch, Palm Harbor Patch, Largo Patch.
Disclosures: Contributor to No Tax for Tracks


submit to reddit

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday May 4, 2014 The Sales Tax Ordinance

On November 4, 2014 Pinellas County voters are being asked to tax themselves and our visitors $100 Million dollars more for public transportation than they are now paying.

There has already been a lot of hype about the "Greenlight" plan but very little conversation about the actual Ordinance the voters are being asked to approve.

Ordinance 13-  34 was written by the PSTA, its legal staff and advisers and according to the Pinellas County Commission accepted with almost no
changes.

Here is a link to the Ordinance: Greenlight Pinellas Tax Ordinance

While Greenlight supporters would have voters believe that this Referendum is all about public transportation, the actual Ordinance says almost nothing about the Greenlight plan. In fact the term Greenlight is never defined and only appears twice in the entire Ordinance.

A word search of the document reveals the following

 WORD                                   OCCURRENCE
Greenlight                                          2
Bond(s)                                              5
Financing                                           2
Refinancing                                        2
Indebtedness                                      5
Interlocal agreement                           5
Bus                                                     8
Passenger Rail                                   4
Approve                                              2
Audit                                                   0
Report                                                0

Like most Ordinances, this one is long and the language can be a bit confusing. Voters need to take a look at what they are actually voting for in the Sales Tax Referendum.

Once approved this poorly crafted Ordinance becomes law and will be almost impossible to amend or repeal.

Beginning Monday May 5 and continuing for 4 weeks, I will present a series of 12 Posts that look at Ordinance 13- 34 in detail.

Please follow along and know what the Ordinance says before you vote. Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am opposed to Ordinance 13- 34 simply because I believe it is a poorly crafted Ordinance that provides instantaneous excessive revenue flow to PSTA, has virtually no financial controls or reporting requirements, allows the PSTA far too easy access to financing, and provides no mandates that the bus system will actually be expanded before the funds are obligated to bonds to build a passenger rail project.

e-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net, or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb)Friend request. See More of Doc at Bay Post Internet, WATCHDOGWIRE-FLORIDA and St.Pete Patch, Gulfport Patch, Clearwater Patch, Palm Harbor Patch, Largo Patch.
Disclosures: Contributor to No Tax for Tracks
submit to reddit