Thursday, September 16, 2021

Stop the Gaslighting! NO SalesTax Hike Is Needed to Fund Road Maintenance in Hillsborough County

Guest Contributor: Dr. Jim Davison


In Dr. Davison's last post we showed how the Hillsborough County Public Works department knowingly watched our road infrastructure deteriorate to the deplorable and unsafe condition we find them in today. The county administration has known through the computer modeling equipment they have had since 2009 what was happening. They refused to tell the public, and to some extent the elected officials, where we were headed or provide funding to avoid it. 

Now the County begins to officially pursue another $16 billion dollar sales tax hike boondoggle through another proposed 30 year sales tax referendum....before one cent of the unlawfully collected $512 Million unlawful All for Transportation rail tax boondoggle has been refunded. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Bad Case of Distrust: County Tries to Hold Road Funding Hostage to Force Funding Costly Rail/Transit

Guest Contributor: Dr. Jim Davison

  
No wonder there's a bad case of Distrust with County Center in Hillsborough.

The effort by the Hillsborough County BOCC and County Administrator to place a second sales tax for transit on the ballot has already begun. Even before returning the $532 million illegally taken in their last attempt, they are planning to place essentially the same $16 billion-dollar 30-year rail tax on the ballot. They plan on using the same lies and pronouncements used in 2018 to get you to give them the money.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Charade for AFT Rail Tax 2.0 Begins as County Knows 89% Want Roads Fixed

Pat Kemp, Kimberly Overman, 
Harry Cohen, Gwen Myers, Mariella Smith

Before one cent of the unlawful All for Transportation Transit tax has been refunded, the Tampa-Centric Five push to put All for Transportation Transit 2.0 rail tax on the 2022 ballot. 

Hillsborough County had scheduled 4 Transportation Town Hall meetings to begin on August 3rd. These Town Halls appear to now be delayed until October.  

South County, one of the fastest growing areas of Hillsborough County that needs new roads, is ignored. 

Monday, July 19, 2021

Something Smells: AFT, Surrounded by Lawyers, Rammed Illegal Rail Tax Onto Ballot Creating Legal Mess Dumpster Fire, Tampa-Centric Five Pushes AFT Rail Tax 2.0



The public and voters of Hillsborough County must never forget that
All for Transportation Transit (AFT) caused a dumpster fire legal mess. AFT's dumpster fire resulted in over a HALF A BILLION dollars being unlawfully collected from taxpayers. 

Deconstructing AFT finds the legal mess dumpster fire they created nefarious and foul smelling.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Reform Needed ASAP As Road Diets Being Imposed in Florida With NO Public Hearings

34th Street S in St. Petersburg is a State owned road (US 19) state taxpayers have paid for. St. Petersburg does NOT own that road. Five new apartment complexes with almost a 1000 new apartment units are about to open on 34th Street S. Redevelopment is already occurring. Not only is dense apartment growth and more redevelopment coming to 34th Street S, Road Diets are on the way too.

Monday, June 7, 2021

The Times Spins a Whopper After Survey Confirms Super Super Majority REJECT Transit

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Blind to their past failures, the All for Transportation Transit rail cartel's hamster wheel starts spinning the other way to put another $16 Billion rail tax boondoggle on the 2022 ballot. All for Transit's chief cheerleader and spinmeister the Tampa Bay Times jumped into their assigned role. They published this "Whopperabout a recent transit survey.

The Times Whopper is so full of spin and nonsense, it reads like the Onion or the Babylon Bee. We will break down the nonsense.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Tampa Bay Transportation Leaders Cheer Gov DeSantis Veto of TBARTA Funding

According to his veto list, Governor DeSantis veto'd the $1.5 million TBARTA funding appropriation.
Gov DeSantis veto's TBARTA funding

On May 10, leaders of No Tax For Tracks, Save Our Streets Pinellas, and Fix Our Roads First sent a request to Gov DeSantis asking he Veto the TBARTA "Life Support" funding.

These leaders, who have been engaged in the transportation issue in Tampa Bay for many years, cheer the Governor's veto action. They appreciate DeSantis doing the right thing for taxpayers.

Friday, May 28, 2021

The AFT Cabal Have No Shame: They Took Your Money Unlawfully, Want to Keep As Much Of The Illegal Tax Monies As Possible and Start Taking More

Those Who Lose Do Not Get to Choose - Winning Side Gets to Decide
The Refund Process 

The All For Transportation (AFT) cabal is a political clique of wealthy special interests, influential power brokers, political insiders, unethical bureaucrats, "friendly" media, and transit activists, who privately schemed to deceive voters in 2018. After losing the AFT lawsuit, the cabal is now scheming to try to keep as much of the illegally collected AFT tax monies as possible...as they push AFT 2.0 for 2022. 

Monday, May 10, 2021

Leaders of No Tax For Tracks, Save Our Streets Pinellas, and Fix Our Roads First Request Gov DeSantis Veto TBARTA Funding

Tampa Bay Leaders of No Tax For Tracks, Save Our Streets Pinellas, and Fix Our Roads First sent a request to Gov DeSantis requesting the Governor veto the annual $1.5 million TBARTA funding.

Here is the request they sent Gov DeSantis:

Tampa Bay Transportation Leaders Call for Gov DeSantis to Veto TBARTA Funding

WHEREAS, TBARTA was created in 2007 by the Legislature at the request of Special Interests seeking a Regional Rail System that was subsequently rejected by voters both in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties,

WHEREAS, TBARTA's purpose is to "Plan, develop, fund, implement, and operate a regional transit system in the Tampa Bay region" but in 14 years of existence has little to no accomplishments other than create impractical and costly Master Plans inadequate for our region,

WHEREAS, the 2021 TBARTA Appropriation Project Request is for a recurring annual subsidy of $1.5M of which 0% will be spent on passenger transit service, 85% is for staff salaries, less than 1/10th of 1% will be spent on transportation planning, and the remaining funds will be spent on Rent/Phones/Travel/Meetings/Legal/State and 
Federal Lobbyists, etc,

WHEREAS, the TBARTA Executive Director will earn $275,000 which is more than the Governor of Florida,

WHEREAS, TBARTA board members have failed to prioritize attendance at monthly TBARTA business meetings as evidenced by recent lack of quorum for six months in a row,

WHEREAS, TBARTA's mission is duplicative and overlaps existing planning, transit and transportation authorities including PSTA, HART, FDOT, Forward Pinellas, Hillsborough MPO, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council, Tampa-Hillsborough Expressway Authority, MPOs from surrounding counties, etc.,

WHEREAS, the only transit service operated by TBARTA is a vanpool that could easily be returned back to HART where the service was initiated or to the private sector,

WHEREAS, Transit ridership was already on a multi-year decline since 2014, and was further devastated by COVID-19 and may never return to pre-pandemic levels,

WHEREAS, costly Premium Transit projects advanced by TBARTA prioritize affluent "choice" riders at the expense of "transit dependent" riders and taxpayers who would never use it,

WHEREAS, COVID-19 has increased work-at-home and decimated prior commute patterns that funnel employees to a central business district,

WHEREAS, Technology and Innovation continues to offer private-sector alternatives to traditional Transit,

Therefore we request Governor Ron DeSantis veto the entire $1.5M TBARTA “Life Support” appropriation from the 2022 state budget.

Sincerely,

Tampa Bay Leaders of No Tax For Tracks, Save Our Streets Pinellas, and Fix Our Roads First

Barb Haselden, St. Petersburg, FL

Sharon Calvert, Tierre Verde, FL

Karen Jaroch, Tampa, FL

Tom Gaitens, Apollo Beach, FL

Jim Davison, New Tampa, FL

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Taxpayers Owed Refund of Over $512 Million of Unlawful AFT Tax Monies As BOCC Pursues Putting AFT 2.0 On 2022 Ballot

Taxpayers in Hillsborough County have not received a refund, in any way, shape or form, of any of the unlawfully collected $512 Million All for Transportation (AFT) transit tax monies. The fact that taxpayers are owed over a half a billion dollars of AFT 1.0 monies is not stopping the Hillsborough commissioners from pursuing another transit tax hike.  

At the BOCC meeting on Wednesday, 5/5/2021, the Hillsborough County commissioners voted to begin activities for putting AFT 2.0 on the November 2022 ballot. 

Friday, May 7, 2021

DeSantis Signs SB90: Goodbye "ZuckBucks" Hello Election Protection


Election Protection Bill SB90 passed and Gov DeSantis, who helped champion the issue, signed the bill into law yesterday.

The bill prohibits outside organizations from funding election activities in Florida. No more ZuckBucks can be doled out by partisan, biased Billionaires to meddle in our elections in Florida. 

Monday, May 3, 2021

Hillsborough County contradicts itself in separate court filings involving $500 million

Reposted with permission from Tom Rask, Tampa Bay Guardian


What is to be done with the over $500 million that Hillsborough County unlawfully collected to fund transit? In two separate lawsuits, the county is making contradictory and mutually exclusive arguments.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

AFT Lied, AFT Tax Died and AFT Tax Must Not Be Revived!

Take about 12 minutes to watch more from our interview with Dr. Jim Davison about transportation funding in Hillsborough County. 

All for Transportation (AFT) was NOT the only transportation funding plan in town in 2018.

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.






Monday, February 22, 2021

Take Action to Support SB1130 and Eliminate TBARTA Once and For All!

TBARTA, the Tampa Bay Area Transit Authority, is a wasteful, duplicative and crony bureaucracy that must go. We have been advocating for eliminating TBARTA for almost a decade.

Senator Jeff Brandes has given us the opportunity to get rid of TBARTA with his SB1130 bill to dissolve TBARTA. 

Here's our latest podcast (about 5 minutes) explaining why we must get rid of TBARTA once and for all. Eliminating TBARTA will ensure this agency never becomes a regional taxing authority that would empower and enrich crony special interests.


The Florida 2021 legislative session begins March 2nd.

Take action today to help protect the taxpayer. SB1130 needs a champion and companion bill in the State House.

Voice your support for SB1130 by contacting Speaker Sprowls, Senate President Simpson and your State House and Senate Representatives at:
https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/representatives
https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators

A big Thank You to Senator Brandes for providing that rare opportunity to get rid of an unnecessary and wasteful bureaucracy.

Support Senate Bill 1130!

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Gov DeSantis Election Integrity Proposals Will Help Stop Progressive Billionaires from Meddling in Our Elections

Kudos to Governor DeSantis who proposed new measures to safeguard our elections in the state of Florida.

His press release, found here, addresses a number of important issues including prohibiting counties from receiving grants from private third-party organizations for “get out the vote” initiatives.

We found out right after the November election last year that 12 county Supervisors of Elections officials in Florida, including Hillsborough County, received "Zuckerberg" grants. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated $400 million to a tax-exempt nonprofit Center for Tech and Civil Life (CTCL), a 501(c)(3) based in Chicago, IL.