Tuesday, March 31, 2020

County Commission Chair Pursues Picking Your Pockets During Crisis.

While everyone is on lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic crisis, Hillsborough County Commission Chair Les Miller astonishingly displays where his priorities lie.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Miller had cancelled the April 1 public hearing about putting another All for Transportation (AFT) $16 BILLION rail tax hike on the November ballot. Miller had scheduled the April 1 public hearing weeks ago that now seem like an eternity ago.

With little notice at 7:51 AM this morning, the county sends an email announcing a "SPECIAL MEETING" scheduled for tomorrow at 1:30pm. The meeting notice to discuss rescheduling the public hearing for putting the AFT 2.0 $16 Billion tax hike on the ballot was sent out to the public about 30 hours before tomorrow's meeting.

It is disgusting that the AFT 2.0 transit tax hike is Miller's priority while the residents and business of Hillsborough County are suffering. 

Hillsborough County Commission Special Meeting
on $16 Billion sales tax hike
Miller had scheduled the 30 year rail tax hike public hearing originally for April Fools Day. He now wants to reschedule it for April 15 - what is known as TAX DAY. 

Miller's AFT 2.0 massive rail tax forces county taxpayers to hand the HART transit agency 40% (approximately $6.5 BILLION) to fund costly trains and transit in the city of Tampa. Less than 2% use transit in Hillsborough, but Miller wants to force us out of the safety and security of our cars and vehicles and onto transit.  At the same time Miller's AFT 2.0 rail tax dedicates ZERO funding for much needed new road capacity in Hillsborough County - for 30 long years. 

Transit is a petri-dish for spreading germs. Hillsborough County's emergency order advised residents to avoid public transit. The use of public transit in New York is believed to help cause the intense spread of the Coronavirus in New York City.

The Special Meeting tomorrow will be held virtually. Follow the instructions in the Special Meeting Agenda to make a public comment. Or contact all the county commissioners here.

Tell the commissioners to stop pursuing putting another $16 Billion transit tax hike on the November ballot at this time of crisis. The commissioners must stop trying to pick the pockets of suffering taxpayers and businesses. 

The commissioners must first focus on the Coronavirus and economic crisis at hand. They must reassess the county budget which has been impacted. Priorities will change. It is outrageous the commissioners would pursue a massive tax hike when the public has been told nothing and there is still so much uncertainty. 

While the public worries about keeping their jobs, paying their mortgage, worrying about their family members and staying healthy, Miller's priority is another $16 Billion rail tax hike on the November ballot. That is simply wrong!

With little public notice, exploiting an opportunity to put another $16 Billion rail tax on the ballot while the public is suffering and not able to be fully engaged is shameful.

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