Six Hillsborough county commissioners are intentionally putting taxpayers at tremendous financial risk and signing away the rights of their own constituents and future commission boards.
County Commission Chairman Les Miller, a supporter of the $16 billion All For Transportation (AFT) tax hike boondoggle, urged the board to approve bonding out $10 million of AFT tax proceeds while the tax is in litigation and under legal uncertainty. He also promoted authorization for the county to file a bond validation lawsuit and sue the county's own citizens.
Can a hand-picked cabal, unaccountable to voters, earmark one dollar, let alone $16 billion, of public funds for projects that were created to primarily benefit the wealthy and influential?
It’s a question that should be asked throughout Florida, not just in Hillsborough County where a sales tax boost was passed under the most disingenuous motivation and manipulation.
Earmarks in government are set aside for a specific purpose, but more often than not, are associated with pork-barrel projects, handouts and wasteful spending without due diligence.
The All for Transportation (AFT) 30-year, $16 billion transit tax referendum has created mass confusion, with the public questioning the viability of the program, the veracity of its advocates, and the motives of the corporate players and media entities that vociferously supported the plan.
Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White’s lawsuit challenging the legality of the tax hike has brought new illuminating facts into the public arena.
The Tampa Bay Times discarded its journalistic ethics in reporting on the proposed Hillsborough County sales tax hike for transportation that was spearheaded by the newspaper’s primary benefactor, former hedge fund manager and developer Jeffrey Vinik.
All for Transportation (AFT) created the 5-page tax-hike charter amendment that led to Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White's lawsuit, case #18-CA-011749.
It is unfortunate but hardly unexpected. The school needs and the transit-greed tax-hike campaigns joined forces to push both tax hikes over the finish line on Nov. 6.
The billionaires are entitled. They buy off the media. They bankroll a deceptive advertising campaign for a massive tax hike that never mentions the word “tax”. They want to shut down any debate about their $16 billion rail tax boondoggle.
Despite the $2 million-and-growing advertising campaign for All For Transportation and the 1 cent, 14 percent sales tax increase proposed as a county charter amendment in Hillsborough County, the plan will increase congestion and not relieve it.
The Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization is dysfunctional and in need of a big housecleaning: a new executive director and new staff.