Joe Hannoush says “Vote NO on Sales Tax increase”

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Apr 18, 2019 No Comments ›› admin

“The half-cent sales tax increase, on a mail-in ballot special election, will cost Volusia and city taxpayers almost $500,000. No matter if the result of the election is an increase in the local sales tax, or no increase, the taxpayers are still forced to pay for it. That alone is reason enough to vote no on this sales tax increase and send our city and county elected officials a message to not try this wasteful tactic again.
We elected them because we trust they will be fiscally responsible with our hard-earned money. Obviously, that is not the case.
This was not an expense our elected officials had to make on behalf of the residents in Volusia County. If this vote had to happen at all, it could have been placed on a General Election ballot so there is not a waste of taxpayer dollars. These same government bodies are the ones that decided to give big tax breaks — sorry, “incentives” — to businesses in the sports, development, home-building and insurance industries, at the expense of the everyday mom-and-pop taxpayer that is likely living paycheck to paycheck. It was only months ago the County Council, and some municipal governments, voted to adopt the rollback rate for property taxes. And now this sales tax increase vote is being promoted as necessary without having a plan B. What changed in those few months?
Only recently were impact fees raised after about 15 years of a flat fee. Is the issue of building and repairing roads only very recently become an issue and one that is such an emergency that it requires a costly mail-in ballot special election — a first of its kind in the history of Volusia County? I’ve heard that road material costs may be going up. So are glass recycling costs. This does not mean taxes have to go up. Maybe innovation, such as using recycled glass mixed with asphalt (glassphalt — look it up), could be a way to cut costs. Perhaps a new revenue stream could be used. Selling naming rights to road or construction projects to help off set costs of the project. Expanding the Adopt-A-Road program (organizations actually pay a small fee and are responsible for cleaning up trash in exchange for having the name of the organization on a sign on the road). Dominos Pizza had a promotion where they will fix potholes in your city so your pizzas get to you without cheese being stuck to the top of their boxes. The point is, the answer isn’t always “Raise taxes. There is no plan B.””

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