Jerry Demings shouldn’t hard sell his sales tax increase to Orange County Commissioners

Yesterday, the Orange County Commission received a transportation briefing from local officials, which ties into a sales tax increase Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is trying to pass for projects in the area.

Not all of the commissioners were receptive on his controversial proposal and he was critical of their reluctance to vote for a tax increase (story HERE), regularly interrupting to help staff answer questions. The Mayor framed these valid concerns as inaction, instead of careful stewardship of the public’s money.

That’s wrong.

The truth is that this tax increase is a bad idea. Mayor Demings can’t guarantee your money from the tax won’t go towards improvements in neighboring Seminole and Osceola counties, and he’s prepared to hand over millions of your money to agencies that have had a wide variety of problems in the past.

And we can’t forget this commission gave $125 million dollars of your money to Universal for a road that will primarily make them money.

Then there were the concerns brought up by commissioners yesterday. Money not going towards the areas that actually need it, such as road projects on the west side. The political process allowing other projects to get priority over others and lacking transparency.

And if you’re already paying tolls, why should you be taxed on top of that? Also, one commissioner said over 60% of her constituents have never used LYNX buses. And we’re going to raise their taxes as well?

No one wants this tax hike to pass more than Jerry Demings, and that’s a problem. We keep talking about residents that want transparency, but we’re not giving it to them. We’re setting up committees of political connected appointees to make decisions involving their money and that’s wrong.

The truth is that these commissioners are the last line of defense before this issue gets political. After this gets on the ballot, the companies that will get to spend your tax dollars if this passes, will start building their campaign to misrepresent what this is.

A way to fix the problems they made with your money.

The Mayor says we’re on the right track. I disagree and I don’t believe we’re properly letting the resident’s of Orange County understand where this track actually goes and how we’re using their money.

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