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Politics / Issues

Fact-Checking Lifespan of Greenlight Pinellas

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One of the big local issues being voted on in the upcoming election is Greenlight Pinellas -- which would replace a property tax funding public transportation in Pinellas County with a one-cent sales tax.

That would fund an expansion of bus service and a light rail system from St. Petersburg to Clearwater.

Opponents say the tax is unfair, and in a recent email No Tax For Tracks claimed that the tax increase  is irreversible.

"This is a little bit tricky but we ruled this held true," said PolitiFact Florida's Amy Hollyfield. "There is actually no clause or provision in the proposal voters will be voting on that allows for another vote. However, saying that the tax is permanent also goes too far."

That's because there is a review of the tax built into the Greenlight Pinellas proposal. It just doesn't kick in for quite a while.

"There's a review clause that's set for 50 years from now," Hollyfield explained. "It's set at 50 years because there's a massive transportation endeavor at stake and they want to give that a chance to happen. Fifty years from now there's a review, and another one 20 years after that. There's also the chance that someone could get upset about this and raise it with the Pinellas County Commission and they could do a vote and they could do something about it. So, it's not permanent, there are reviews, but it wouldn't be the easiest thing ever."

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