Saturday, March 05, 2022

St. Johns County will decide on 15%+ sales tax increase in referendum on March 15. (SAR)

If there's yet another sales tax referendum on St. Johns County Ballots, We the People must be satisfied it is to benefit us, and not the devious developers who avoided and evaded some $200 million in property taxes and impact fees as the result of the 2015 referendum.  

Without meaningful checks and balances in our government, as in a County Charter, this looks like another case of the Establishment fooling the people to tax themselves when corporate oligarchs want to lower their tax bills.  

It's a 15%+ sales tax increase, proposed without adequate foundation or safeguards.

Without linkage to meaningful government reforms, I will be voting NO.

From St. Augustine Record:

St. Johns County will decide on sales tax referendum on March 15

Henry Dean: Quality of life will 'suffer' if infrastructure backlog not addressed

Sheldon Gardner
St. Augustine Record
Vehicles travel on U.S. 1, south of St. Augustine, on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. The St. Johns County Commission is considering asking county voters to decide whether to OK a sales-tax increase to help fund infrastructure improvements, including roads, in the November general election.

St. Johns County commissioners chose to advance a sales tax referendum proposal on Tuesday, moving forward with a plan to have a final hearing and vote on March 15.

Commissioner Paul Waldron said he still opposes the idea. 

Commission Chair Henry Dean brought up the proposed referendum as a way to help address the county's infrastructure needs, he said. 

"We're talking about a real backlog that if we don't address, at least in my opinion, quality of life for all our county residents ... is going to suffer," Dean said. 

The ordinance proposes to put a question on the Nov. 8 general election ballot of whether to raise the sales tax from 6.5 cents on the dollar to 7.5 cents to help the county fund infrastructure projects. 

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The sales tax would be in effect for 10 years starting on Jan. 1, 2023. It is expected to bring in about $500 million in that time frame.

The ordinance needs a second reading on March 15 before it can be placed on the ballot. On that date, the commission plans to hold a final public hearing and vote on the matter. 

Several people spoke during public comment on Tuesday, most in opposition to the referendum or the tax. 

The county recently presented a breakdown of what the sales tax revenue could fund, though the options can change:

                  Roadway improvements: $220 million

                  Drainage improvements: $17 million

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