May 20, 2014 – Seminole County FL 1% Sales Tax Increase

It’s a fact your tax dollars (a half million $) paid to have the 1% sales tax increase vote on a special date.  The sad truth is most county residents are unaware they paid and won’t show up to vote on the largest tax increase in Seminole County history.

Did you get the postcard from the County Commissioners?  They paid political consultants $135/hr (that’s over $1,000/day) to prepare 180,000 mailers promoting approval.  A 1% sales tax increase is projected to generate $63M in revenue each year or $630M over the ten year period.  That’s a lot of common cents!!

Country commissioners are banking on a low turnout on May 20th.  The tax will generate 160% more than a millage increase.  Listening to their logic, enough will be collected if all are charged 1% rather than a 4% millage increase for property owners alone.  Wait!! The School Board already got a millage increase in 2012 from property owners and have their fingers in the 1% pie.

Country Commissioners, the seven cities Mayors and their councils and other legitimate boards, authorities and chambers have prepared budgets that will spend every penny of the new $63M/yr.  I watched Commissioner Carey’s limited-information, public-consumption video supporting the ‘Infrastructure Sales Tax.’  The speech carefully omitted SunRail until it had to be disclosed that the county “already paid $42M for the operation of SunRail” out of reserves.

But, this is not a Train Tax because sales taxes cannot be used for SunRail.  Technically, road construction/improvement and Lynx bus routes do not shout train tax but all roads slated for improvement lead to SunRail.  The motivated beneficiaries (contractors, developers, political contributors and corporations that do business with government) are ALL ABOARD the sales tax increase EXPRESS.  They want cost-efficient, tax-payer funded infrastructure in place before planting strip malls, apartments, and Dollar Stores along pre-planned routes.

The commission has stated the cost for a family of four will be $53.40/yr and others report it will be $1450/yr.  With this much disparity, both figures are questionable.  It’s not hard to get up to $53.40 by maintaining essential needs if minimal inflation occurs and thinking hefty purchases are needed to cost $1450 extra.

And that fellow residents is how you ‘grow’ the economic gap between us and the 1%.  The Seminole County website informs viewers how nice a place this is to live.  They are right; it is.  But, I want to know what they do with the money?  $2M sent to Orange County for a soccer stadium??  How did that happen and why?  Where is the list of corporate incentives and who got what?  Why are commissioners paid $82,000/yr for a part-time job.  How much tax-payer money is paying for public/turned private business?  The pie chart is generic specific and factually insufficient.

On May 20th, I plan to vote AGAINST this tax increase because I don’t believe the sales pitch.

In November I plan to vote out all incumbents and city/county commissioners.  Smaller government is not necessarily better but accountable government surely is.

 

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