We Don’t Trust Jimmy Conner with Penny Sales Tax Money
One of the main reasons why we are opposed to renewing the Penny Sales Tax (Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum), as approved by the Lake County Board of County Commissioners, is the ordinance does not require real, independent oversight to monitor and ensure the tax money is being spent on the projects approved by the people. The current Penny Sales Tax provision has very specific guidelines as to how the money is to be spent. However, according to sources within Lake County these guidelines have not been followed. In fact, one of the reasons why the proposed Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum ballot language has been changed to include basically everything is because Lake County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner was advised the County was out of compliance. The current appointed Penny Sales Tax Committee is feckless and has been a failure.
We encourage Lake County voters to cast their vote against the renewal of the Penny Sales Tax (Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum) in November. As part of a new Penny Sales Tax proposal for 2016, voters should require that an elected Penny Sales Tax Board be established to control, monitor, and audit how and where the money is spent. We must take the Penny Sales Tax out of the hands of politicians like Lake County Commission Chairman Conner, because he cannot be trusted.
Citizens for Better Government, L.L.C. has reviewed the 2008 and 2012 campaign finance records of Lake County Commission Chairman Conner. It appears a large number of his political donors do business directly or indirectly with Lake County government. Complaints of strong-arm tactics by many vendors against Commission Chairman Conner has filtered around for many years. One source told us, “Jimmy gets mad if you don’t give him money.”
Consider just these numbers gathered from the Lake County Supervisor of Elections Office on campaign financing. For the 2008 and 2012 election cycles, Conner shows donations of $51,250 directly from construction related businesses, of which many had direct business dealings with Lake County government. Plus, it appears many other donations were made on behalf of families and friends from those businesses. Conner has been very successful in convincing a lot of people who do business with Lake County government to also make campaign contributions to him. That is why our group and many others don’t trust him with this Penny Sales Tax.
If you don’t want Lake County Commission Chairman Conner using the Penny Sales Tax as a tool to garner campaign contributions, Vote Against the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax Renewal) and demand that in 2016 they include an independently elected Penny Sales Tax Board in the ordinance.
On November 3, 2015, Vote Against the Infrastructure Sales Surtax Referendum (Penny Sales Tax Renewal), because the ordinance is badly written, and you don’t want to give the politicians a blank check. Let’s make them do it right—the ordinance should only be used for new schools, roads, and utilities while protecting Lake County taxpayers and workers.
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