In the November 4, 2014 election Sales Tax Referendum you are NOT voting directly on the GreenLight Plan.
This is the language you will see on the Ballot:
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 benefiting 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passenger rail and regional connections be funded by levying a one percent sales surtax from January 1, 2016 until repealed, with the proceeds deposited in a dedicated trust fund?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
Read that title very carefully. 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.
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.
You can also read my review of the Pinellas County/PSTA Interlocal Agreemet
which activates if the Sales Tax Ordinance passes.
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 OF PINELLAS COUNTY LEVYING THE CHARTER COUNTY AND REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM SURTAX SUBJECT TO ELECTOR APPROVAL AT 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 OF THE 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.