Tuesday, December 5, 2023

State Must Pass Hillsborough County Sales Tax Holiday, NOT Reward AFT Wrong-Doers, Mischief Makers and Lawsuit Losers

All for Transportation's (AFT) wealthy special interests donors are at it again. They want to again deny Hillsborough County taxpayers a sales tax holiday that will return $600M of illegally collected AFT sales tax dollars back to the taxpayers.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

A Dichotomy of a Day: Rays get $300 MILLION from Pinellas County As Property Owners Get a Tax Increase

Yesterday was a day of dichotomies in Pinellas County.

Yesterday morning, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County and the Rays held a joint news announcement to announce they had struck a deal struck for a new Rays stadium and redevelopment surrounding it. 

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Give Our Money Back! Hillsborough County Opposes Taxpayer Refund AGAIN as AFT's $570 MILLION Refund Fiasco Continues

The Hillsborough County $570 Million All for Transportation (AFT) refund legal fiasco continues. 

Over 2.5 years ago, the AFT transit tax was ruled illegal and thrown out in its entirety. The AFT transit tax refund remedy has not yet been resolved. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023

PSTA HeadsTowards Fiscal Cliff Again As Big Pay Raises Funded with 1-time COVID Money & Escalating Operating Expenses Comes Home to Roost

Pinellas County Transit agency PSTA is heading towards insolvency. They used one-time COVID dollars to hand out large raises now baked into PSTA's budget. PSTA depleted almost $100M of COVID dollars over the last few years.

PSTA knew they were heading towards a fiscal cliff last year. The then governing PSTA board approved huge pay raises, implemented "free to the rider" SunRunner rides and did nothing to alleviate PSTA's fiscal hemorrhaging. 

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Hillsborough County Blows Through All Its Skyrocketing Growth Revenues, Increases County Bureaucracy by 61%

Guest post by Dr. Jim Davison 

Hillsborough County citizens are well acquainted with this time of year as being the start of hurricane season in Florida. It starts every year on June the 1st. We are given estimates of how many and how intense the storms will be. We are urged to get our homes ready and to prepare in case one of these natural disasters hits the area. All good advice.

Beginning about one month before hurricane season there is another season that starts every year. One that can be costly and deadly to taxpayers and it is man-made. 

It is the “Budget Season” for local municipalities and the County. 

The "Budget Season" is a closely choreographed period-of-time. Like clockwork, the Hillsborough County Administrator Bonnie Wise kicked off the Fiscal Year 2024 season at a BOCC workshop on May 10, 2023. No public comment was allowed.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Property Tax Revenues Increase 15.3% But Hillsborough County Refuses to Prioritize Funding Roads....Again

Hillsborough County's budget is an abomination and taxpayers in Hillsborough County should be revolting. 

For the last 15 years, Hillsborough County has refused to properly prioritize road funding, a primary responsibility of local government. Roads are Hillsborough County's largest asset but the County continues to neglect to appropriately maintaining and improving them. 

That must change with the FY24 budget. Taxpayers must demand property tax revenues be used to fund roads and transportation.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Give Hillsborough County a $570M Sales Tax Holiday, Do Not Reward Any Wrong-doers

It's way beyond time for Hillsborough County taxpayers to get back the $570M of illegal All for Transportation (AFT) tax dollars unlawfully taken from them. It's been over two years since the Florida Supreme Court ruled that AFT was unlawful in February 2021.  

Finally, House Bill 7063 (starting at line 893) provides a final remedy to the big legal mess AFT created. HB7063 includes a provision for a sales tax holiday to be implemented when a final adjudication has been made that a local sales tax referendum is ruled unlawful and illegal. 

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

In 2024 Defeating Biden and Preserving Our Republic Flows Thru PA, WI, MI, GA and AZ

Founding Father Benjamin Franklin's words are as relevant or perhaps more so today as they were in 1787.  

When Governor DeSantis, Congresswoman Laurel Lee and Congressman Byron Donalds spoke at Hillsborough County Republican Party's Lincoln Day dinner last Friday night, they lit up the packed room. Each of them lit the room on fire about what our country is facing to keep our Republic. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Some HART Board Members To Blame Too As Report Exposes HART Run Amuck On Their Watch: HART CEO Suspended With Pay But FL Inspector General Must Now Investigate HART!

At a special HART Board meeting on Monday, a damning report was presented from the investigation of HART CEO Adelee Le Grand. The report provided evidence of HART being run amuck by Le Grand.

As a result, the HART Board suspended Le Grand with pay until she has an opportunity to respond in May and a final decision about her will be made.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Be Skeptical Of Bills Filed For A "Study" When HART Must First Be Investigated and Audited

HART transit agency is a fiscal and operational mess going insolvent next year. Before all the issues with HART can be fixed, we need to know what they all are and who caused them.

HART needs to be investigated and the last 10 years of its operations audited by Florida's Inspector General. 

We applaud the State Legislature for eliminating TBARTA. But we have concerns whether they are eliminating TBARTA to create another regional transit agency. 

Friday, March 3, 2023

HART's CEO Adelee Le Grand Wants to Flee Fiscally Failing HART With Big Payout and Demands Report From Investigation of Her Be Concealed

So much smoke has been blowing around HART, that in November last year the HART Board authorized an external investigation of their CEO.

Now HART's CEO Adelee LeGrand, the one being investigated, wants to resign from HART. She wants to flee fiscally failing HART with a big payout and demands that any report from the investigation of her never sees the light of day. 

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Lack of Proper Legal Oversight: Unlawful AFT Transit Tax Costs Taxpayers Over $1.1 Million in Outside Legal Fees

Both All for Transportation (AFT) transit tax referendums, in 2018 and in 2022, were ruled illegal by the Courts. As a result, taxpayers got stuck paying for costly outside legal counsel.

In 2018 warnings were raised by then county commissioner Stacy White and others that AFT's citizen wealthy special interests led transit tax had potential legal issues. 

Those warnings went unheeded by Hillsborough County Attorney Christine Beck and HART's legal counsel Davis Smith. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Fiscally Mismanaged HART Faces Insolvency in 2024, Florida's Inspector General Must Investigate and Audit Them

HART transit agency is one huge mess. The transit agency is about to hit a fiscal cliff and become insolvent due to its own mismanagement, incompetence and fiscal irresponsibility.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Vinik-linked Tampa communications firm Catalyst directly involved in PSTA chief misleading PSTA board

Repost with permission from Tampa Bay Guardian, original TBG post is here.

A draft version of an email PSTA CEO Brad Miller was preparing to send to the PSTA board contained a damning admission which didn’t appear in the email that was ultimately sent to the board. The omission could be very damaging, both for Miller and for the communications firm Miller sent his draft to. The email was obtained through a public records request.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Send Hillsborough County TPO's Pursuit to Tear Down I-275 to the Ash Heap

The Hillsborough County Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) has been pursuing tearing down I-275 north of downtown Tampa for years. In October just before the election, TPO staff stealthily submitted a Federal grant request for over $1.2 million to study replacing I-275 North with a street level transit Boulevard. 

But the TPO's foolishness pursuing the absurd proposal may be coming to an end. The TPO has scheduled a meeting on Wednesday, January 25th from 4-4:30pm to consider canceling that "tear down interstates" Federal grant.

Citizens who oppose the "tear down interstates" nonsense and wastefully spending their tax dollars on a costly Boulevard proposal that will never happen, can sign up to speak in person or virtually here. Comments can also be emailed to tpo@plancom.org by 5pm tomorrow January 24th.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

GOTV Tampa to Defeat Mayor Jane Castor the Disaster

Tampa's Democrat Mayor Jane Castor is running for re-election.

Treat Tampa's municipal election in March as important, if not more so, as a general election.

Tampa voters can defeat Mayor Castor the Disaster by getting out to vote in numbers not seen for municipal elections. They can make Disaster Castor a one-term Mayor.