Pinellas County Voters are being asked to approve a law (The GreenLight Plan) that would provide for an open ended 1% increase in the County sales tax.
You can read a review of the actual law you will approve if you vote yes at Sales Tax (GreenLight) Ordinance Review
Due to pressure from opponents of the Greenlight plan and the Sales tax ordinance, the Suncoast Transit Authority and the Pinellas County Commission found it necessary to develop the Interlocal Agreement before the election to add some direction to how the revenue from the 1% sales tax will be spent and to attempt to add some clarity regarding the suspension of the current PSTA Ad valorem property tax.
The following document is a reproduction of the Pinellas County Interlocal Agreement with the Suncoast Transit Authority approved by the Pinellas County Commission.
The text of the Agreement appears in italics My Comments appear in Bold regular text.
SECTION 11. FEES, COSTS AND EXPENSES.
(A) PSTA shall reimburse the County for the fees, costs and expenses incurred by the County with respect to all actions relating to the enactment of the Ordinance, the negotiation, execution and delivery of this Agreement and all other matters related thereto through and including the validation of the initial issuance of bonds for PSTA's Greenlight Plan, including, without limitation, the fees and expenses of bond counsel or other outside counsel, its financial advisor, and all similar fees, costs and expenses. The total sum to be paid by PSTA pursuant to this Section 11 shall not exceed the sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($100,000.00). The amount due under this Section 11 shall be made in a one-time payment and is due only upon passage of the Surtax Referendum and after PSTA begins to receive Surtax Net Proceeds in accordance with the Ordinance and this Agreement.
(A) County will get reimbursed for expenses. Note the special emphasis on Bond issuance. Bonds are the key in this effort to get money (sales tax revenue) permanently committed to the rail project.
Note that even though the train effort is not scheduled to begin until the late part of this decade, these bonds will be issued as quickly as possible to eliminate any chance at stopping or controlling train construction as time moves on and the actual costs and facts become clear.
Once pledged to the Bonds, the Sales Tax revenue cannot be used for any purpose other than bond debt service and the use of the bond proceeds are determined in the bond covenants.
If buses are not stipulated in the Bond covenants then those dollars cannot be used for buses.
(B) While any of the Surtax Net Proceeds are being withheld by the County pursuant to Section 9 hereof, all costs and expenses incurred by the County and the Clerk in exercising their obligations hereunder, and the fees and expenses of outside professionals that the County reasonably determines