Pinellas Commissioners work to finalize ballot language for GreenLight Pinellas sales tax increase

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - "We are at a crossroads and we need to look to our future," said Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority C.E.O. Brad Miller.

Miller thinks the time has come for the county to move into a new era in transportation, and it starts with GreenLight Pinellas.

"GreenLight Pinellas is going to be on the ballot next November for a 1% sales tax across Pinellas County to pay for a dramatically changed transit system for Pinellas' future," Miller said.

The current sales tax would jump from seven to 8%.  Pinellas County Commissioners will take up the ballot language at a workshop on Tuesday.

"The language is the most important thing when people are reading it. They have to understand it.  And yes, at times there have been referendums that have been very confusing on whether you're voting no or yes.  And tomorrow is one of the last times that we're going to be able to discuss it," explained Commissioner John Morroni.



If approved, the sales tax increase would allow PSTA to expand its bus service by more than 65%, adding more night and weekend service, and eventually a 16-stop, 24-mile light rail line.

"I don't think a train is what we need. And we don't need more buses," said Barb Haselden.

Haselden, from "No Tax for Tracks", says it's not the right time to expand public transportation in Pinellas.

"I don't agree that we have some kind of a transportation crisis, nor do we have a big demand by the public, or a need by the public for more public transportation," Haselden added.

"This possible increase in the state sales tax is going to be swapped with the property tax that they see on their tax bills. That will disappear," Morroni said.

Concerned citizens can weigh in at a county commission public hearing on December 10th.

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