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


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