On Monday, We, The People who ultimately pay the bills, were treated to the Grand Reveal of a privately funded study designed to measure public support for the proposed one-cent sales tax increase – a shameless government money grab we are told will be the panacea for our growing transportation infrastructure crisis.
For weeks, the mysterious survey of just 600 Volusia County voters – paid for by the Camera stellata known as the Volusia CEO Business Alliance – has been kept under wraps, hidden by the report’s strategic exemption from Florida’s public records law.
This privately funded analysis – a process which involved less that one percent of Volusia County’s registered voters – was conducted by Clearview Research, a company that just happened to help Palm Beach County pass a one-cent sales tax in 2016.
Of course, their Volusia County study found that, if the measure were placed on the ballot later this year, a half-cent tax increase would overwhelmingly pass by a 54-39 margin.
Look, I’m no expert in statistical polling – but considering that not one person in my sphere of influence has said they support a sales tax increase (except for Big John, who supports the measure with clearly identified projects) I find the results of the study interesting.
Really. Not one person I’ve spoken to supports it. Friends, family, loyal readers – or the guy holding up the bar stool next to mine.
I’m thinking our powers-that-be aren’t completely convinced, either – because we are about to participate in an intensive “re-education program.”
According to the Clearview report, as quoted in the Daytona Beach News-Journal, “The half-cent option, while a little closer than we would like, can pass but will require a disciplined, well-funded, and well-executed campaign plus strong and nearly universal support from the local governments through the county,” the report states. “This effort begins in a good (but not great) place with excellent messages. If a disciplined well-executed campaign is launched, there is a clear path to victory.”
Sounds like something out of a Pol Pot manifesto.
You will be re-educated.
You will get your mind right.
You will vote as instructed by your leaders.
You will ensure a clear path to victory for Little Jimmy’s autocratic regime.
According to the Florida Department of Revenue, a half-penny sales tax increase would generate an estimated $45 million annually – half of which would go to county government, with the rest split among Volusia’s 16 municipalities.
That’s a lot of cheese.
I tend to judge people, government administrations and dogs by past performance. It is the only true predictive indicator of future behavior.
Let’s face it, Volusia County has the third highest tax rate in the state of Florida. Our gasoline tax has been maxed out and our elected officials have proven – time and again – that they have no qualms about handing millions of our hard-earned tax dollars to fund the private projects of billionaires, building infrastructure to benefit wealthy political insiders and paying exorbitant salary and benefits packages to the pimps who control the nexus of public funds and private interests.
I have my own suspicions, but why do you think the millionaire members of Volusia’s CEO Business Alliance are so determined to see this tax increase become a reality?
Screw these piggish money grubbers – and their “well-executed” campaign to wring even more tax dollars from an already strapped constituency.
These people should be ashamed of themselves.
It’s time Volusia County government learned to live within its means.
That process begins at the ballot box.
Photo Credit: The Daytona Beach News-Journal