Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year

May 2019 bring you good health, love, success,  great joy, and peace.

Thank you for spending some of your valuable time this past year reading my Blog Posts. If you have taken the time to comment on one of the sites or on Facebook an extra special thanks.

The new year looks to be a very exciting time on the West Coast of Florida so please keep checking back on bay area PATCH sites, Eye on Tampa Bay and my flagship Blog site Bay Post Internet.

Have a happy and safe new year.

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Please comment below

Friday, December 28, 2018

Tax Hike to Spike Cost of Commercial Leases

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

Image from
The cost of doing business in Hillsborough County is going up in January for many businesses who have commercial leases.

Effective January 1, 2019, Hillsborough County taxpayers will see an over 21% increase in the sales tax they must pay. Not only will that increase the cost of dining out, the cost of clothing, shoes, vehicles, appliances, TV's and other items taxpayers buy and consume everyday, it impacts commercial leases.

Both the one percent transit/rail tax and the half-percent school tax were rushed onto the ballot at the last possible moment to get on the November ballot. There was little to no public scrutiny and no media scrutiny, especially regarding the 1 percent transit/rail tax. There were no public debates and local media failed refused to inform the voting public of the entire impact of these tax hikes.

At the first DeSantis Transition Advisory Committee on the Economy meeting, ironically held in Hillsborough County that will have the highest sales tax rate in the state of 8.5%, the subject of the sales tax on commercial leases was brought up. Members of the committee voiced concerns about the tax - that it was hurting business in Florida. Florida is the only state in the country that imposes such comprehensive sales tax on commercial leases.

Sales tax on commercial leases has been an issue in Tallahassee and one that Governor Scott has wanted to address for years. Only in the last couple of years did the state legislature take action to reduce the state sales tax rate on commercial leases from 6% to 5.7% effective January 1, 2019. That small reduction in the state sales tax on commercial leases does not begin to bring relief to businesses in Hillsborough County who will see their sales tax on commercial go up 1.5%.

While the state is attempting to reduce the sales tax burden on commercial leases, Hillsborough County heads the other way.

Florida also imposes the comprehensive sales tax on what is called "transient rentals
" for rental periods six months or less. Rental charges for accommodations at trailer camps, recreational vehicle parks, and mobile home parks (except certain mobile home lots) are also taxable.

In addition to the sales tax, a maximum of 6% tourist tax is imposed on transient rental accommodations. In Hillsborough County
, the current tourist tax is 5% but the county has met the threshold to raise it to 6% which is the max rate allowed by the state, and the county commissioners could raise it.

The state legislature passed HB585 in 2017 that expanded the use of the tourist tax to include capital costs of public facilities "needed to increase tourist-related business activities" as long as certain criteria is met. Public facilities are defined as including but "not limited to transportation, sanitary sewer, solid waste, drainage, potable water, and pedestrian facilities."

All for Transportation never accounted for the broadened use of the tourist tax. They did not account for value capture financing either which the Feds are starting to require to pursue federal transit grants.

All for Transportation's 30 year $16 Billion tax hike that passed overfunds pedestrian infrastructure and bike paths by hundreds of millions of dollars over what was included in the Hillsborough MPO's 20 year 2040 long range transportation plan. And the All for Transportation tax hike charter amendment specifically prohibits making any changes to that over funded pedestrian/bike path funding category for 30 years.

It is estimated that Hillsborough County tourists pay about 20% of all sales tax in Hillsborough County. Local taxpayers are stuck with paying the overwhelming majority of the sales tax revenues.

It is businesses who must pay the sales tax on their commercial leases. The 21% sales tax increase will immediately raise the cost of doing business in Hillsborough County on January 1, 2019. It will be the small business owner who will be hurt and negatively impacted the most.

Was there any local reporting on the impact of the massive tax hike on commercial leases or transient rentals - for 30 long years? We found none.

Did the Tampa Chamber bring this up? Was it mentioned by Tampa Bay Partnership, the special interests lobbyists who funded the tax hike initiative? Nope, because they don't care and they did not want the public to know.

All for Transportation was not informing the public of all the impacts of their massive tax hike in their $4 million marketing blitz. They were refusing to tell the public it was a tax hike they were promoting.

And All for Transportation lied that they had the only proposed transportation funding solution in Hillsborough County.

As we reported here, an alternative funding solution was presented to the county commissioners in April. That funding solution requires no massive 30 year tax hike and no increase to commercial leases that hurts low income and small businesses the most.

Action was even taken by the county commission on June 6th to have the "no tax hike needed" proposed transportation funding plan be considered by the BOCC Citizens Advisory Committee. But that information was not considered "newsworthy" by local media who suppressed the information and refused to report about it.

Commissioners Pat Kemp and Les Miller considered the no tax hike funding solution worthy enough to vote "yes" on June 6th. They then turned around and supported the special interests funded tax hike petition drive the next week.

Kemp and Miller were for pursuing a transportation funding solution that did not require a tax hike before they were against it.

Do Kemp, Miller and newly elected commissioner Kimberly Overman, who all supported the tax hike, think this big tax hike on commercial leases in Hillsborough County is good? Does it make Hillsborough County more competitive?

Shamefully, no other county commissioner except Commissioner White publicly raised any questions about All for Transportation's 30 year $16 Billion tax hike.

Businesses in almost all other counties in Florida will be getting some sales tax rate relief on their commercial leases effective January 1.

But instead of getting a sales tax rate reduction on commercial leases to 6.7%, the sales tax on commercial leases in Hillsborough County will go to 8.2% - the highest in the state.
Hillsborough County sales tax on
commercial leases

Peeling back the onion of the All for Transportation $16 Billion tax hike is just beginning.

Posted by Sharon Calvert at 12:38 AM 

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

Monday, December 24, 2018

May the love from the manger reach into your heart

Have a Merry Christmas

Bradenton, Fl
By: E. Eugene Webb PhD

Author: In Search of RobinSo You Want to Blog.

A Christmas Thought -

What is Christmas all about?
Is it simply when the children jump and shout?
Or is there more to this Christmas tale,
A story of God’s love for us beyond the Vail?
One sent from the Almighty to ransom our souls,
A gift from God that can make you whole.
It’s Jesus. It’s Jesus – it’s the Savior they sang.
All that is required is we believe on his name.

Merry Christmas
Gene and Theresa Webb

E-mail Doc at mail to: or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
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Please comment below.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Healthcare – The business - How safe are you?

When you are looking at health care services or even particular doctors, here are some questions to ask and things to look for.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.
If you sit there watching those hospital-based semi reality TV dramas, you might find yourself thinking this is just fiction. I know I am safe at the hospital; I am sure my children are in good hands.
Those money-grubbing, company centered, hospital and healthcare administrators who put dollars ahead of patient care are just some figment of a TV drama writer’s imagination. Right?
All hospitals reflect the finest in us as businesses and human beings. They are really all about taking care of people, especially the most vulnerable among us. Right?
Then along comes a real-life example like John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital where we are smacked in the face with the reality of health care and the business that controls it.
If you have not been following the Tampa Bay Times reporting of John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, here are links to the articles, and they are a MUST READ.
These articles and this excellent reporting are chilling if you don’t have any small children and downright frightening if you do.
Do not, however, delude yourself into thinking this is an isolated case.
As healthcare becomes an ever-larger business, money wows increase, and you will see consolidations of hospitals, clinics and even doctor's individual practices. Revenue and profit are the driving factors behind how health care is delivered.
Anytime you see a consolidation or purchase of a hospital, clinic or large practice by a corporately run shell or hedge fund it is time to be on the alert if you are a patient.
A real tipoff is when the first page of its annual report is all about numbers and money.
 The unfortunate part of all of this is there are still a lot of doctors who want to provide excellent care and healthcare administrators who want to provide the best and safest health care services they are just being overwhelmed by healthcare businesses who answer to the stock holders.
When you are looking at health care services or even particular doctors, here are some questions to ask and things to look for:
  • Who actually owns the Hospital you are considering? 
  • Who owns the clinic or even the doctors practice you are seeing?
  • Do some research and look for outcomes and lawsuits?
  • Check on physician and staff turnover. High turnover is a sign of a problem. 
Don’t wait until you're on the way to the hospital in an ambulance to start worrying about these things. Make some plans and talk to your primary-care physician now so when the time comes, you’ll be prepared. 

E-mail Doc at mail to: or send me a Facebook (E. Eugene Webb) Friend request. Like or share on Facebook and follow me on TWITTER  @DOC ON THE BAY.
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Monday, December 17, 2018

Thank Your for Speaking Up to Keep St. Petersburg Special

Your Voice Made a Difference! CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO REJECT BEZU!

                                ADVOCACY ACTION

St. Petersburg, Fl 

POSTED  by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin, So You Want to Blog.

From: St. Pete Preservation 
On Thursday, before another city council chambers overflowing with concerned citizens, the final vote on Bezu (recently renamed "Blue Lotus") was taken. City council was tasked with determining whether the high rise tower would be consistent with the city's intown redevelopment plan. For Bezu to proceed, a majority vote finding consistency was required. The vote, however, was 4-4 meaning the Bezu development cannot move forward. Read the news story here.
 Thanks go not just to all of you who made your voice heard but also to council members Darden Rice, Gina Driscoll, Steve Kornell and Chair Lisa Wheeler-Bowman for their votes to keep St. Petersburg special. A tip of the hat also to council member Charlie Gerdes. While we are disappointed in his vote to approve Bezu, his push last week when the matter first came before city council to ensure a fair process by rescheduling the vote until this week when council member Steve Kornell would be present was key to the final outcome.
 What happens next for the small parcel in a great downtown location will be up to the developer. We encourage him to create a new development proposal that will compliment and be in scale with the neighborhood. Click here to go to our Bezu advocacy action page. 
Don't forget, PTB offers some great tours and they continue thru the holiday season. The tours offer a fun event for visiting family or friends over the holidays. Check out the options by going to the PTB calendar. This Saturday (December 15) is a fun tour with partner Keep St. Pete Lit where we combine history with local authors. The tour starts at 10 am, click here for details.
E-mail Doc at mail to: 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 
Bay Post Photos.  

Please comment below

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Catching Up on the new Hillsborough County Sales Tax

All for Florida Transportation - What's really going on?

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

Hillsborough County’s new All for Florida Transportation sales tax increase has been drawing a lot of attention. 

Local Blog Eye on Tampa Bay published by Sharon Calvert has been following the new tax and its implementation.

If you have not been following this new tax development you may want to catch up. Here are excerpts and links to the latest Posts:

Posted Thursday November 27

All for Transportation's $16 Billion tax hike was created by a few urbanist transit advocates over drinks. Their campaign funded by special interests sold their creation as a 30 year "plan" to fix transportation in Hillsborough County.

But there is no plan for implementing anything.

At times All for Transportation touted their tax hike was funding Hillsborough MPO's 4 year old outdated 2040 long range plan. But MPO Director Beth Alden told us in September that MPO long range plans are not implementation plans.  Those plans are federally mandated to help forecast future transportation needs.

Read more click: New Tax, No Plan ........

Posted Monday December 3, 2018

Governor-elect DeSantis left the Swamp in DC to run for Governor.

DeSantis supported Trump and he received support from Trump that helped him trounce Adam Putnam in the Primary. DeSantis went on to narrowly beat Gillum in the General.

Unfortunately, while DeSantis promised to keep taxes low and oppose tax increases in Florida, the Tampa Bay Swamp who want higher taxes are already on their way to Tallahassee.

DeSantis ran on his 
economic plan that he will (emphasis mine):

·                     Accelerate Small Business Growth and Development
·                     Oppose Tax Increases and Keep Florida One of Lowest Tax States in the Nation 
·                     Create a Business-Friendly Environment to Expand Opportunity for Floridians
·                     Keep Florida’s Bureaucracy in Check
·                     Invest in Florida’s Economy of Tomorrow
DeSantis economic plan specifically stated:

Governor-elect DeSantis
 opposes tax hikes
DeSantis has been making announcements - his transition team, his inaugural committee and an economic committee that caught the Eye.

Read More Click: Tampa Bay Swamp Goes to Tallahassee .......

Posted Tuesday December 4, 2018

We posted here about how those who want tax hikes were erroneously appointed to an economic committee to advise Governor-elect DeSantis for how to keep taxes low in Florida.

It's bad enough the Tampa Bay Swamp tax hikers were appointed to such position but the optics got worse.

The committee is meeting in Tampa tomorrow. According to this Tampa Bay Times article:

The Transition Advisory Committee on the Economy, led by former state Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, will gather at the university’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation at 1 p, m, on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The public may attend.

The committee to advise DeSantis on how to keep taxes low in Florida has its first meeting in Hillsborough County who will now have the highest sales tax rate in the state of 8.5% And it was the Tampa Bay tax hiking swamp creatures appointed to this committee who are responsible for the tax hike. They funded the $4 million campaign of deception to get the misleading tax hike initiative on the ballot. And they bought off local media to shut down any opposition to ensure their unnecessary massive tax hike got passed.

The Tampa Bay Swamp's tax hike initiative is so egregious that 
WTSP reported yesterday about a lawsuit being filed by Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White.

WTSP's report reflects how Hillsborough County's highest sales tax rate in the state compares to its surrounding neighbor counties. At 8.5% it will be the highest in the entire state of Florida.
Captured From WTSP report about lawsuit
filed by Commissioner White
Hosting this economic committee that is supposed to advise for how to keep taxes low in Florida in the county with the highest sales tax rate in the state is the poster child of tone deafness.

The Republican Party of Hillsborough County Executive Committee voted on and passed a Resolution opposing the egregious rail tax hike. They recommended voting no on the 30 year $16 BILLION rail tax referendum.

Is DeSantis getting bad advice or what?

Did Will Weatherford, the leader of this committee, schedule its first meeting in Tampa?

Posted December 7, 2018

Curiously, the Tampa Bay Times recently started reporting the All for Transportation tax hike will raise $15.8 billion over 30 years, while they consistently called it at $280 million per year, $9 billion tax before and just after the election.

Why was it a $9 billion tax, but now its $15.8 billion?

Here are just few examples from their recent reporting:

But in the prior months, they called it a "$9 billion backlog", or conflating the AFT amendment with the Hillsborough MPO LRTP.

AFT has stated their plan was based on the MPO's 20 year LRTP. The AFT tax is over 30 years. That should have been the first clue that the Times should not have compared AFT with the LRTP. AFT obviously cherry picked their preferred projects from the LRTP for their "plan", such as restricting funding for new road capacity, while the LRTP had included $1 billion over 20 years.

The Times editorial page was even worse.

Stay with Eye on Tampa Bay for the real info on the new Hills borough County sales tax increase.

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