Tuesday, December 4, 2018

DeSantis Committee for Low Taxes To Meet in Hillsborough County with Highest Sales Tax Rate in FL

We posted here about how those who want tax hikes were erroneously appointed to an economic committee to advise Governor-elect DeSantis for how to keep taxes low in Florida.

It's bad enough the Tampa Bay Swamp tax hikers were appointed to such position but the optics got worse.

The committee is meeting in Tampa tomorrow. According to this Tampa Bay Times article:
The Transition Advisory Committee on the Economy, led by former state Speaker of the House Will Weatherford, will gather at the university’s Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation at 1 p, m, on Wednesday, Dec. 5. The public may attend.

The committee to advise DeSantis on how to keep taxes low in Florida has its first meeting in Hillsborough County who will now have the highest sales tax rate in the state of 8.5% And it was the Tampa Bay tax hiking swamp creatures appointed to this committee who are responsible for the tax hike. They funded the $4 million campaign of deception to get the misleading tax hike initiative on the ballot. And they bought off local media to shut down any opposition to ensure their unnecessary massive tax hike got passed.

The Tampa Bay Swamp's tax hike initiative is so egregious that WTSP reported yesterday about a lawsuit being filed by Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White.

WTSP's report reflects how Hillsborough County's highest sales tax rate in the state compares to its surrounding neighbor counties. At 8.5% it will be the highest in the entire state of Florida.
Captured From WTSP report about lawsuit
filed by Commissioner White
Hosting this economic committee that is supposed to advise for how to keep taxes low in Florida in the county with the highest sales tax rate in the state is the poster child of tone deafness.

The Republican Party of Hillsborough County Executive Committee voted on and passed a Resolution opposing the egregious rail tax hike. They recommended voting no on the 30 year $16 BILLION rail tax referendum.

Is DeSantis getting bad advice or what?

Did Will Weatherford, the leader of this committee, schedule its first meeting in Tampa?

Ironically, according to an August 2016 Florida Politics article Add Will Weatherford to the #NeverTrump camp? :
The league of Republicans against Donald Trump may have found another member in Will Weatherford. 
The former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, a Wesley Chapel Republican, suggested in a text message today that the real estate tycoon-turned-reality TV star won’t get his vote.
This Florida Politics article in December 2016 announcing Will Weatherford would not be running for Governor in 2018, confirmed Weatherford is a Never Trumper who did not vote for Trump.
A supporter of former Gov. Jeb Bush, Weatherford was an often outspoken critic of then-candidate Donald Trump. He has said didn’t vote for Trump, called the president-elect a divisive figure, and has indicated the negative tone of recent elections doesn’t appeal to him.
Alan Bense, former Speaker of the Florida House of Represenatives, is also a member of this committee. He is Weatherford's father in law.

Weatherford launched his venture capital and strategic business advisory firm, Weatherford Partners, with his two brothers in January 2015.  That was right after Jeff Vinik initially announced his downtown redevelopment district vision in December 2014

And are those rumors on the road that Vinik hired Weatherford to lobby for him true?

On November 14th, a week after the tax hike passed last month, there was a "topping off" construction milestone celebration held for the new USF Morsani College of Medicine in Vinik's WaterStreet District. USF and the Tampa Bay Business Journal (behind firewall so can find copy of article here) reported that Weatherford played a key role in championing the relocation of the USF College of Medicine to Vinik's development and helping to secure state funding for the construction and move.

Frank Morsani, the namesake of the College of Medicine, gave $250K (quarter of a million dollars) to All for Transportation PAC to fund the tax hike that greatly benefits Jeff Vinik.

The move and construction of the new Morsani College of Medicine to downtown, paid for by taxpayers, benefitted Jeff Vinik. Vinik desperately needed an anchor for his downtown redevelopment  and the College of Medicine was announced as his anchor in 2015.

Last year, Weatherford, Vinik and former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio (who helped lead the 2010 rail tax in Hillsborough County) were named to Tampa Electric's Board of Directors. However, due to an unknown conflict of interest, Vinik had to reject becoming a TECO Board member. Tampa Electric donated $50K to All for Transportation for the rail tax that will greatly benefit Jeff Vinik.

The same old same old elite power brokers run in their own tight knit, exclusive circles.

While the lobbyist Swamp class gets handed cushy appointments and positions of influence, the rest of us are neglected and cannot even get a seat at the table to be heard.

DeSantis needs to battle the Swamp in Florida, put actions to his words and put an end to such bad optics.

DeSantis can start by removing the Swamp creatures from this committee who like higher taxes and fund tax hike referendums.

And DeSantis must not tolerate tax hike referendums funded by the Swamp that violates any state statute.

The meeting tomorrow is open to the public and can be attended in person or by phone by registering here.

1 comment:

  1. This transportation tax is the evolution of government, a step into the open of how things have in fact been done - it is a transfer of wealth from the tax payer to the developers and donors yes, that is what the local governments are for, this is the act in in the open - we just give our tax money to an un-elected board of donors and developers who have paid for the right to take out tax money.

    Government by the elite for the elite, you exist only to give your money to the elite.