Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 at 4:18pm

Penny Sales Tax Should Be Used for “Needs” not “Wants”

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Penny Sales Tax Should Be Used for
“Needs” not “Wants”

At the special election on November 3, 2015, Lake County citizens should Vote Against the Penny Sales Tax initiative (Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum) because the politicians are not addressing the real priorities of Lake County.  For the last 15 years, Lake County officials at all levels said the priorities of Lake County are new student stations (schools), roads (which supposedly have no funding mechanism), and city utilities.Instead of proposing to fund priorities of the county, the Lake County Board of County Commissioners developed a hodge-podge list of items, which already have multiple funding sources.  Instead of taking care of the infrastructure they are taking care of political “wants”.

On Lake County’s website there is a complete list of “wants” but not “needs”.  Too much is at stake to let this money be used as political pork to pay off political friends and donors.

Here are some points to consider:

  • There are proposals to raise the salaries of both Lake County and Sheriff’s Office employees for a second year in a row.  How many working people are getting yearly raises?  That is your best indication they don’t need this sales tax.
  • The Sheriff’s Office has been openly criticized by the Lake County Commission for not participating in good faith in budget cuts since the start of the Great Recession, but yet they want to give them more money.  Law enforcement budgets should be going down with the advances in technology.
  • The Lake County politicians are using fire fighters as their pawns.  The county’s Fire Department has multiple funding sources, which include general property taxes, a special fire assessment, and fire impact fees, but yet the politicians say they need money for equipment.  Let’s be honest, the politicians are playing a shell game with the fire fighters’ money.
  • With impact fees for roads, parks, and libraries in addition to state and federal grants, state sales tax, and regular property taxes—all of these areas have millions of dollars available to them.  Also, don’t forget in 2004 Lake County voters voted for a one-third millage rate assessment to buy environmental lands—you are already doing your part for the environment.
  • Finally, you the taxpayer were nailed for a 13.8% property tax increase last year, because the politicians needed to do things like give county employees pay raises and build up their emergency reserves.  We suggest that if you didn’t get a 13.8% raise last year and you were unable build-up your family’s emergency bank reserves, you should probably Vote Against the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum at the special election on November 3, 2015.
What this tax is all about and how they propose to spend it is double, triple, and quadruple dipping money out of your pocket.  The bottom line is the Penny Sales Tax should only be used for roads, new student stations (schools), and utilities—the real “needs” and priorities of Lake County.  ByVoting Against the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum at the special election on November 3, 2015, you will force the Lake County politicians to re-do this ordinance to establish the correct priorities, and allow for real transparency and accountability, while giving a real opportunity to Lake County workers.Below we have taken directly from Lake County’s website how they plan to spend the Penny Sales Tax money, and we have rewritten the November 3rd ballot based on Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Advisory Legal Opinion on full disclosure for Infrastructure Surtax Referendums.  We suspect it was not written this way (including all of the politicians’ “wants”) because the politicians realized most taxpayers would reject all of these local pork projects.





Vehicle Replacement

  • 175-200 vehicles
Ambulance and Equipment Replacement
  • New ambulances – 20 to 25
  • Ambulance re-chassis and patient compartment
    refurbishments – 3 to 5
  • Quick response vehicles – 3 to 5
  • Cardiac monitors – 25 to 30
  • Stretchers – 25 to 30
Fire Apparatus Replacement
  • Apparatus – 25 to 29
    Includes fire engines, squads, aerial ladder trucks, water tanker trucks, and utility brush trucks
Fire Station Renovations and Repairs
  • Stations – 9 to 12
    Includes building remodels, roof replacements, water/well systems, generators, and HVAC replacements
East Lake Community Park Park
Approx. 80 percent of build-out
  • Sports lighting of all athletic fields
  • Path system throughout the park
  • Internal road and parking lot
  • Buildings at ballfields, multipurpose fields and maintenance (3)
South Lake Regional Park Park approx. 40 percent of build-out
  • Ballfields with lights (4)
  • Multipurpose fields with lights (2)
  • Building – restrooms / concession (1)
  • Internal road, parking lot and path system (50% completion)
  • Renovate existing building for maintenance staff
  • Site clearing and grading
  • Utilities – water, sewer, electric, irrigation well or reclaim water
Lake Idamere Park Park Completion
  • Sports lighting
  • Resurfacing internal road, parking lot and trail
  • Restroom
  • Path and parking lot lighting
  • Pavilions
P.E.A.R. Park Park Completion
  • Path system throughout the park
  • Pavilions
  • Internal road and parking lots
  • Pickleball courts (6)
Ferndale Preserve
  • Central observation tower
Minneola Athletic Complex Park Completion
  • Multipurpose field with lights (1)
  • Little League field with lights (1)
  • Tennis courts with lights (2)
  • Basketball courts with lights (2)
  • Restroom at multipurpose fields
  • Additional parking / lighting
  • Pavilions
  • Playground
  • Scoreboards, bleachers, etc.
North Lake Community Park Park substantially completed
  • Sports lighting of Little League field (3)
  • Sports lighting of multipurpose field (3)
  • Pavilions
  • Path lighting at Little League fields
Pine Forest Park (Active Side)
Park approx. 65 percent of build-out
  • Multipurpose field (1)
  • Ballfields (2)
Other County Parks & Boat Ramps
  • Resurfacing internal roads, parking lots and internal trails
  • Renovations to courts and athletic fields
  • Sports lighting
  • Playground replacement
  • Pavilions
  • Boardwalk replacement
  • Site furnishings (bleachers, scoreboards, etc.)
  • Restrooms
South Lake / Hancock Trail
  • Boardwalk replacement
  • ADA improvements in phases
Ellis Acres Reserve
  • Improvements to existing structure (Educational Center)
  • Parking lot improvements
Cagan Crossings Community Library
  • 12,000 S.F. interior build-out of second floor
  • Creation of multi-use space
Marion Baysinger Memorial Library
  • 5,000 S.F. addition
  • Expansion of spaces for computers, collections, meetings and youth
  • Resurface 75-95 miles
  • Construct 7.5 miles & $2.5M for repairs
  • Complete 9  projects & install 9 traffic signals
  • Complete 1 project (Magnolia Lane in Lake Harris Basin)
  • Replace 75 items
  • Energy plant cooling tower refurbishment
  • HVAC control system and air handler replacements
  • Fire alarm system replacements
  • Annual roof replacements
  • Generator replacements

  • Annual light vehicle replacements based on established schedule
  • Replace all 26 systems that are at end-of-life
  • Connect all county buildings into the fiber loop
  • Build out two miles of underground fiber or four miles of aerial fiber per year
____  FOR the 1-CENT Sales Tax____  AGAINST the 1-CENT Sales Tax


Isn’t this over the top?  It’s time to say no more—Vote Against the Penny Sales Tax on November 3, 2015.

If you would like someone to come and speak to your group about the Penny Sales Tax, 

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3 Responses to “Penny Sales Tax Should Be Used for “Needs” not “Wants””

  1. Name says:

    The real truth behind the penny sales tax.

    With the county seat (Tavares) construction projects completing [ courthouse expansion – round-a-bout – old courthouse renovated for the queer sheriff – road projects and more coming to an end, the standard 15% kickbacks attached to every construction project are ending as well.

    First issued by Bob McKee while employed with the Clerk of Court, the kickbacks to McKee, Commissioner Welton Cadwell, Clerk Neil Kelley and Sandy & Barbara Minkoff , have been in effect for almost 25 years!

    Leslie Campisson is no fool and portrays herself as being honest in her social role as Commissioner. Her legacy of being dishonest started long before she ever got erected.

    In the end, any vote casted against the tax will be discarded or “flipped” in favor of the tax. Tavares bureaucrats have “managed” every outcome on votes for a very long time. Most people are unaware of this or the tunnel used beneath main street during election season as votes come in.

    Lake citizens are screwed either way and will be until the good Lord takes the last breath of those political heathens robbing residents blind.

  2. Although the “Right Side” has been “right” on a lot of issues in the past, they are on the “Wrong Side” on this one. The renewal of the penny sales tax helps take the burden off of property owners who pay the majority of bills for local government services and it is the closest thing we have to a “fair tax” at the local level because everyone pays it (including those just passing through Lake County). Annually, the penny tax yields about $36 million split between the County, the School Board and 14 cities — if it is not renewed, property owners are the ones who will be hurt because the difference will be made up in the millage rate. The “Right Side” completely misses the reason a decision was made by the County Commission to put this on the ballot in November in a special election: we need high information voters participating in this special election, that is, people who show up for special elections are usually more engaged in the community and informed on the issues. And if the measure fails, the cities and the School Board and the County Commission will need to re-group in the following budget cycle to deal with a significant loss in revenue. That is why a decision was made to put it on the ballot this fall. The “Right Side” is completely wrong in concluding that using some of the penny sales tax for recreational purposes for existing residents is a bad thing. Young families and retirees utilize existing recreational facilities every day of the week, and many of the fields do not have lights and most of our parks are over-crowded. If lights could be added using penny sales tax more teams can practice and more games can be scheduled – which is good for Lake County families and promotes strong values. Penny sales tax is also used to re-surface existing roads and local streets in our neighborhoods, fix drainage problems and retain storm water that would otherwise degrade our water quality. These types of projects preserve the investments we have all made in our homes, businesses and the future of Lake County by making our county a nice place to live. I understand if the “Right Side” is unhappy about recent votes on drastic increases to impact fees and the millage rate, but it makes no sense to “go after” the penny sales tax — instead they should focus on getting the right folks elected to local office. If the penny sales tax is not renewed by the voters this fall, we all stand to lose.

  3. Name says:

    I agree that the commission is wrong in scheduling a special election for this tax when other dates are available for the same vote at a later date.
    Looks like we have a taste of the state and national governmental problem right here in our county.
    Their claim to be watching our money is only watching it fly out the window.

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