Sales Tax Referendum VOTE -- August 29, 2017


Get Your Ballot to Have Your Say!!! It’s TAXPAYERS’ money. Call the Elections Office NOW at 772/288-5637 to make sure you get an Absentee Ballot and Vote.

THE MAJOR PROBLEM WITH THE SALES TAX REFERENDUM IS THERE ARE NO SPECIFICS OR LIST OF NEEDS IN THE ORDINANCE. 

Click here to read Virginia Sherlock's analysis of the referendum.

The money can be used for luxuries, not needs. THE COMMISSION IS NOT REQUIRED BY THE ORDINANCE TO SPEND THE PROCEEDS ON ANY PARTICULAR PROJECTS IN ANY PARTICULAR ORDER. Read the Ordinance on the County website – Hot Topics:

https://www.martin.fl.us/sites/default/files/meta_page_files/sales_surtax_ordinance_3.pdf

There is only vague language that states 35% of the proceeds will be spent on the environment and 65% on public works. There is no requirement that any money will be spent on the backlog of road and infrastructure needs. Proceeds can be spent on a wish list of NEW projects such as expanding Sailfish Splash Waterpark or extending utility lines to build new towns like Hobe Grove.

(1) The Referendum was improved at the last minute to require more of the proceeds to be spent for the environment. But remember Amendment 1 which was supposed to raise money only for preservation and conservation of public lands. The sales tax ordinance references "septic to sewer" but does not limit spending only for areas benefiting the river.  Meanwhile Commissioners Doug Smith and Ed Ciampi are right now pushing the Septic Comp Plan Amendment to benefit big landowners outside the urban boundary who want taxes and utility users to pay for water and sewer for urban development in the cheap Agricultural Lands.

(2) The Referendum allows 65% of sales tax proceeds to be spent on "public works" which has NO definition.
"Public works" generally means ANY CAPITAL PROJECT OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT regardless of whether it's necessary. There are no mandates that proceeds be used to fix our backlog of roads and bridges that are in disrepair. Instead they can build new facilities that will need more funds for care.
We can be stuck with huge bills for pet, frivolous projects @ $10 Million a pop. AGAIN.

Every Qualified Registered Martin County Voter is Entitled to Vote – Regardless of Party. AUGUST 29, 2017. Nothing else is on the ballot for most of Martin County Voters. [For City of Stuart, there is a Commission race.] The sales tax will be raised to 7% from 6% for 10 years (a 17% increase). It is a 1% hike, not the advertised “one cent.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO: VOTE AND EDUCATE. 
Get your Ballot (Absentee can be requested Now at 288-5637) and Vote "AGAINST" the sales tax. If the Commission wants us to vote for a sales tax, tell them to identify the projects within the Referendum Ordinance language. Educate Others -- Tell Everyone You Know.