LIVE VIDEO: Live Newscast    Watch
 

10 Investigates charges tax money is being used by Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority to buy votes for Greenlight Pinellas

9:23 PM, Mar 13, 2014   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

 


 


Clearwater, Florida -- There's a full court press in Pinellas County to get voters to approve a one cent sales tax increase for bus and rail. The group called Yes for Greenlight filed as a political action committee Thursday and will use private funds to persuade voters. However as 10 Investigates the push for the tax, there are charges public money is being used as well.

Now, keep in mind it's illegal to use taxpayer money to advocate for a position on an issue like a tax increase, but the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority is spending $800,000 of your money to produce all sorts of material to advocate for the tax.

The public agency says it is not breaking the law, but instead, explaining how wonderful increasing bus and adding light rail will be for Pinellas County.

The PSTA says all of this material that it's producing is simply an educational effort to make sure the voters know everything about what the tax will do for the county.

However, critics say the PTSA is not telling the full story, and that became obvious the other night at a Gulf Port Council meeting when PSTA head Brad Miller was asked about the kind of information being discussed.

Councilmember Dan Liedtke asked, "Has any of the outreach material discussed the cons of the Pinellas Greenlight plan?"

Miller paused and then blurted "Uh, eh, No! "

We asked Miller about what critics say is lack of candor by the so called Education Campaign and he said, "The question is not accurate. It is unnecessary to talk about negative facts, that's not what we are trying to do with our information.

When we reminded Miller there are some negatives including if the plan goes into effect sales tax will go up, he told us, "The sales tax will go up and that is a choice."

In addition to increasing the sales tax in Pinellas to the highest in the state, opponents say part of the light rail plan will increase congestion because it calls for surface routes meaning the trains will cross major roads and stop traffic. In addition, there are plans for bus-only lanes which again adds to congestion on the roads. However, problems are never mentioned in the Education Campaign.

-----

You may also like...

Beach Treasure: Lost wedding ring found 8 months later

Nudist Lawsuit: Blind woman sues for having service dog refused

Reptile Invasion: Exotic "tegu lizards" taking over Tampa Bay

Dream Date: High schooler taking NFL cheerleader to the prom

Underwater Secret: Hidden caves beneath Weeki Wachee

Send in the Clowns: Clown shortage threatens the nation

Sasquatch on Tour: "Dead Bigfoot" on display in Texas

Eat Up: Yoga mat chemical found in hundreds of store foods

#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here

Most Watched Videos