BOCA RATON, FL — Taniel Shant, candidate for Palm Beach County Commission District 5, is urging voters to “Stand with Shant” against the so-called “penny tax,” the current proposal to raise the Palm Beach County sales tax from 6% to 7%, an increase of 17%.
“The public has a right to know that they are about to cast their vote for a 17% sales tax increase,” stated Taniel Shant today at the West Boca Branch Library. “It’s not a penny. It’s a 17% tax increase,” Shant told voters.
“The people in District 5 actually have two votes to cast on the sales tax. One for the ballot measure, and one for County Commissioner, as my opponent voted for and strongly supports the sales tax hike. A vote in favor of a 17% sales tax increase is a vote for my opponent. A vote against the sales tax is a vote for me, and I urge everyone to stand with me against the sales tax,” Shant said.
Below is a list of reasons why voters should reject the sales tax increase and vote for Taniel Shant:
1) The proposal contains disingenuous language. It is not a penny tax. It is a 17% tax increase that aims to raise $2.7 Billion dollars.
2) The County and School Board are spending over $250,000 of tax payer money on a marketing campaign to trick voters into giving them more money. (There is a well funded and organized campaign that includes brochures, yard signs, web video advertisements, a website, and other taxpayer funded promotional material).
3) No sales tax increase that benefited the County has ever expired. Voters have a right to be skeptical at the notion that the sales tax proposal will sunset.
4) Sales tax is regressive. It hurts the most vulnerable communities in our society, namely the poor, hard working middle class families, and seniors.
5) It is not subject to the scrutiny applied to the annual ad-valorem budget.
6) It creates an incentive to purchase outside the county (Both Broward and Martin are at 6%, many internet retailers do not collect sales tax).
7) It is not an “infrastructure maintenance tax” but includes many new capital projects.
8) Unlike an infrastructure bond that would raise just enough money for critical needs, this granular tax generates a specific amount of money, and low priority projects will have to be funded in order to spend it all. Like previous proposals, it is a grab-bag of projects, many of which would never be done without a “must spend” windfall.
9) Charter schools get nothing.
10) Many of the municipalities (PBG, Boca) didn’t want the money.
11) It comes on top of the largest ad-valorem tax haul at the county level in history, up 8.2% over last year and up 33% since 2012. If passed, the 2017 equivalent tax hike would be 18%.
12) Over the last 5 years, the county has consistently underfunded engineering and public works (+3%), while increasing the Sheriff’s budget by 28% and giving across the board raises to employees of 12% (3%/year for 4 years). When the overall ad-valorem budget increased by 33%, engineering saw a total of 3% in 5 years. This was a conscious choice.