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Florida Tax Watch says evaluate the performance of a tax referendum before voting to renew

cartoon canvas bag with the word 'tax' on the side and dollar bills out the top of it
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Voters in Charlotte and Sarasota counties will see renewals of one percent sales taxes on the Nov. 8 ballot — and Manatee County voters will consider renewing tax breaks for new businesses.

Florida Tax Watch has some tips on how to vote on tax referendums.

Voters in Charlotte and Sarasota counties will see renewals of 1% sales taxes on the Nov. 8 ballot — and Manatee County voters will consider renewing tax breaks for new businesses.

Florida Tax Watch is urging voters to look at the record of these tax measures before they cast a vote.

Dominic Calabro is the president of the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit group.

Rather than recommending a yes or no vote on tax referendums, he said voters in Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties should check out how well these taxes performed since the last time they were approved.

"Did they bat a thousand? Probably not likely. Did they bat .800? You know, you really want to have a darn good batting average to ask people to dig deeper into their pocket because, frankly, if they're only batting .500, you're going to need twice as much money."

Take a look at some of the other referendums Tampa Bay area voters are considering this November

Calabro advised voters to check on what was promised the last time the tax was renewed. If there's an oversight committee for the tax, that's a good place to start.

Since these tax referendums are renewals, many people say they are not a new tax.

But Calabro is not one of them. He said voters approved a tax with an end date, so any new approval is a new tax.

"The law says it will end. And, if its extended, you're voting to increase the tax — it's that simple," Calabro said.

I started my journalism career delivering the Toledo Blade newspaper on my bike.