Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Stop Dumping More Tax Dollars Into Failing Transit Agencies and Transit Services Few Use

Transit ridership was declining across the country before the pandemic, The pandemic, together with innovation and technology has created paradigm shifts away from riding transit.

More telecommuters working from home mean less commuters are on the road or on transit. The "choice" transit rider has disappeared. People prefer the security of their individual vehicles to keep them safe and healthy.

Our local Tampa Bay transit expert Steve Polzin recently did a study about the impact of the pandemic on public transit for Reason stating:

Public transportation is uniquely sensitive to changes in the number of people working from home, changes in commuting patterns, and concerns over public health and safety.
COVID-19 has produced changes in the behavior of individuals, businesses, and governments.

Public transportation is among those sectors disrupted by COVID-19 and unlikely to return to pre-COVID-19 conditions.

Polzin's study found here states transit ridership decreased 65% from April 2020 to April 2021 during this past year of the COVID pandemic. 

Monday, April 5, 2021

Biden Bankrupt America Bill Collides with Opening Our Economy

$2.5- $4 Trillion
Biden Bankrupt America bill

Biden and the Democrats are masquerading their Multi-Trillion Dollar Green New Deal as an “Infrastructure and Jobs" bill. It is actually another Democrat massive porkbarrel Omnibus Spending bill to advance Biden's radical climate change agenda.

But Biden's Big Government Socialist spending agenda is hitting the headwind of good news. All across the country our economy is opening back up providing the opportunities for Americans to get back to work. 

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Class Action For Refund of Illegally Collected AFT Tax Dollars Refiled In Leon County

Change of venue for Class Action lawsuit requesting refund of
unlawfully collected AFT tax proceeds

The class action lawsuit requesting a remedy for the over $500 MILLION of illegally collected All for Transportation (AFT) transit tax in Hillsborough County has been refiled in Leon County.

The Florida Department of Revenue, located in Leon County, was always a Defendant in the case. The class action Complaint filed by the Plaintiff in Leon County states that despite pending legal challenges to AFT, the Florida Department of Revenue collected the AFT tax, enforced the AFT tax, charged administrative fees and distributed the tax proceeds minus the admin fees to Hillsborough County.

The Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit are asking for a refund of all taxes collected under the unlawful AFT transit tax charter amendment.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Committee Bill Filed to Implement Transparency, Election Safeguard Measures Proposed by Governor DeSantis


We posted here that Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed measures to provide transparency and security measures to safeguard our elections in Florida. 

Some of DeSantis proposals are already included in SB90:

  • Addressing mail ballot drop boxes
  • Measures to prevent ballot harvesting
  • No mass mailing of ballots
  • Mail ballot requests must be made each election year 
  • Signature on mail ballots must match the most recent signature on file.

Now Committee Bill PCB PIE 21-05 has been filed to implement other measures DeSantis proposed. These safeguard measures will ensure transparency in our elections process and reporting:

  • Political parties and candidates cannot be shut out of observing the signature validation process
  • Supervisor of Elections must post over-vote ballots on their website before the canvassing board meets
  • Prohibits the use of private funds for election related expenses, voter education or registration programs (e.g. Zuckerberg grants)
  • Requires real time reporting of voter turn out data by precinct level
  • Supervisor of Elections must report how many ballots requested, how many received and how many left to be counted
  • Mail ballot drop boxes manned by sworn election officials or law enforcement can only be used during the early voting hours of operation and must have video surveillance.
  • $25,000 penalty to the Supervisor of Election (SOE) if any mail ballot drop box is accessible for ballot receipt when early voting is not underway

Monday, March 8, 2021

Rebate Unlawful Transit Tax Dollars, Fix Our Roads First and Do Not Trust AFT

The All for Transportation (AFT) unlawful and egregious 2018 rail tax was thrown out by the Florida Supreme Court. 

Sharon Calvert, co-founder of this blog and No Tax For Tracks, was a guest on Saturday's AM860 BrookeTalksAmerica podcast to talk about the illegal AFT transit tax and where to go from here. Take about 15 minutes to listen as Calvert emphasized the paradigm shifts away from traditional transit and costly rail, the need to fix our roads first and stop another wasteful AFT 2.0 rail tax boondoggle.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Hillsborough County Commissioners: Rebate Illegal AFT Transit Tax with one Hand, Start Launch of AFT 2.0 Transit Tax Hike with Other Hand

 NoTaxForTracks (NTFT) issued a statement last week after the Florida Supreme Court threw out the unconstitutional and unlawful All for Transportation (AFT) transit tax hike in its entirety. NTFT requested that the AFT transit tax dollars illegally collected be given back to the residents of Hillsborough County.  

About $502 Million has been collected since January 1, 2019. The Florida Supreme Court did not issue a remedy for disposition of those funds. Wednesday, the Hillsborough County Commission agreed with NTFT and voted 6-0 to refund the hundreds of millions of AFT dollars back to their constituents. 

The commissioners did that because of what came next. Immediately after voting to refund the unlawfully taken AFT transit tax dollars, the county commissioners voted to start the process for putting AFT 2.0 on the 2022 ballot. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Breaking: No Tax For Tracks Issues Statement on Yesterday's FL Supreme Court Ruling Striking the AFT Transit Tax

No Tax For Tracks, the formal opposition to the All For Transportation transit tax, has issued the following Statement on Florida Supreme Court Ruling Striking the AFT transit tax.

No Tax For Tracks Statement

On Florida Supreme Court Striking Down the All for Transportation Transit Sales Tax


 

Tampa, FL—February 26, 2021  NoTaxForTracks celebrates the Florida Supreme Court ruling yesterday that threw out the 1% All for Transportation (AFT) transit sales tax in its entirety as unconstitutional, illegal and unlawful. 


NoTaxForTracks thanks Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White for filing his legal challenge against AFT in 2018. We are grateful to those who supported NoTaxForTracks and our effort to get the truth out about AFT’s deceptive tax hike referendum. 


NoTaxForTracks Officer Sharon Calvert stated, “AFT was a 30 year $16 Billion rail tax that was a massive transfer of wealth from unincorporated Hillsborough to the City of Tampa. The wealthy downtown Tampa developers and special interests who funded AFT do not care about road needs in unincorporated Hillsborough.” 


AFT had charter language that conflicted with Florida State law. NoTaxForTracks publicly warned about AFT’s potential legal issues and provided that warning to local media in 2018 who failed to report about them or inform the voting public.


With the AFT transit tax gone, this is a time for a Reset.  


NoTaxForTracks Chair Karen Jaroch stated, “The AFT sales tax prohibited funding new road capacity and prioritized costly rail, that was already on the road to obsolescence, before the pandemic landed the knockout punch. This tax unlawfully took $300 for every man, woman and child in Hillsborough and the reset needs to include returning these funds back to them in the form of a rebate, which has the added benefit of providing a much-needed economic stimulus.” 


NoTaxForTracks spokesperson Jim Davison stated “The Supreme Court decision helps our struggling small businesses in a time of the pandemic and provides a second chance to fix our roads and transportation issues in a more equitable manner.


NoTaxForTracks spokesperson Tom Gaitens stated “Tyler Hudson, AFT and the BOCC owe the residents an apology for their malfeasance and violations of the Public Trust. Their rush to place a tax on Hillsborough County residents to fund their rail transit dreams not only cost taxpayers $472 million and unnecessary legal expenses, but also lost time in improving, widening and building new roads to meet the ever increasing population. Common sense tells us FixOurRoadsFirst.com". 


Hillsborough County has transportation needs that must be addressed and we will stay engaged on this issue.


###


A copy of the No Tax For Tracks Statement can be found here.