Friday, August 22, 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 shall be filed with the Department of State by the Clerk within ten ( 10) days after the enactment by the Board. This Ordinance shall become effective upon filing of the Ordinance with the Department of State.

This Section requires filing of the Ordinance within ten days of enactment by the board, although there is no clear indication of what provisions must be in place for the Board to approve.

EPILOG
This Post concludes my Section by Section analysis of the proposed sales tax ordinance. As I have previously stated this is the most poorly crafted Ordinance I have ever read, unless you happen to be the PSTA in which case I must admit it is close to brilliant.

The PSTA is a taxing authority whose governing board is NOT elected directly for the service to PSTA, that wants you to agree to tax yourself for nearly 100 years for a train that is more about redevelopment than it is about public transportation.

It's a bad plan...It's a bad deal....It's a bad law.

The only sensible vote on November 4, 2014 is NO

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

Wednesday, August 20, 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

Monday, August 18, 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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday August 17, 2014 - An Appropriate Swearing In



Wednesday August 13, 2014 the Kriseman Administration swore in their new Police Chief Anthony Holloway.

The event, which took place in Fox Hall on the Campus of Eckerd College, was very well done and well attended.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and a lengthy list of law enforcement and political figures were on hand for the event.

Also present and smiling were the two internal candidates for the Chiefs' position, Assistant Chief Luke Williams and Assistant Chief Melanie Bevan. A reminder that the new Chief has his work cut out for him. 

The Ceremony began with a color guard and ended with some very appropriate remarks by the new Chief.
 
Most poignant moment was when Chief Holloway's wife pinned on his new Gold St. Pete Shield.

Holloway comes with a lot of glowing recommendations and seemingly little baggage.

His selection was a bit tumultuous to say the least. But as someone commented, "don't get the process confused with the product"

He arrives at a Police Department that has some deep divisions of its own and against a national backdrop of racial tensions related to police relations with an African American community, a problem that also exists here in St. Pete.

It's a big plate with a lot on it and Chief Holloway already looks pretty comfortable in his new role.

The Kriseman administration gets a big thumbs up for the event. It was well organized, tastefully done and the venue could not have been better as Anthony Holloway is an Eckerd College Alumni.

After four years of kind of lurching from event to event, Mayor Kriseman and his team are paying much needed attention to the form and substance of critical events. Formality has always had its place in our form of governance and on August 13, 2014 in Fox Hall on the Eckerd Campus it seemed to me everything was present in just the right amount.

Thanks to all from the City, the Police Department, Eckerd College and all who took time to attend.

It was a very special day.

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.