If support can be measured in dollars and cents, Mayor Lenny Curry’s push for voters to authorize a special sales tax Aug. 30 to pay for the city’s $2.8 billion pension financial obligation is on the right track.
A political committee, Yes for Jacksonville, so far has actually raised more than $528,000 given that late April, leaving little doubt that Curry will make great on his word that he will have a seven-figure spending plan to construct a political project around his concept.
At the same time, a standing political committee, established by Curry supporters to support the mayor and his program, has actually raised more than $628,000 given that in 2014 and still has about $292,000 of that on hand. The committee, Construct Something That Lasts, spent a few of that money earlier this year making contributions to legislators who were vital in passing a law that allowed Curry’s pension-tax concept to be placed on the August tally. However the group’s efforts to raise money have not stopped.
Curry has lots of political capital– in the actual sense– heading into the summertimesummer season when he will make a difficult push for his sales tax plan. He desireswishes to enact a half-cent sales tax that would begin after the Better Jacksonville Plan’s sales tax expires in 2030 and would be entirely devoted to Jacksonville’s $2.8 billion pension financial obligation.
Voters are largely not yet tuned into the issue, according to Michael Binder, a University of North Florida political science professor who runs the school’s Public Opinion Research study Lab.
Yet traces of opposition have actually begun to emerge, from public remarks throughout City Council meetings to letters to the editor and a grassroots site advising homeowners to “Simply Vote NO!!”
Critics question the mechanics of Curry’s concept– it is unclear, for instance, how a tax 14 years in the future might supply spending plan relief in the interim– and some want commitments on how any cost savings would be invested, a problem the mayor has not been preparedwanted to explain.
“I don’t think this is going to be a 70-30 kind of vote,” Binder said. “We have a hostility to taxes, particularly here in North Florida. Even Democrats are kind of negative to taxes.”
The Aug. 30 ballot provides some obstacles for Curry.
The ballot will also have party primaries for US Senate, US House, state legal races, state attorney and public protector– manythe majority of which are closed, meaning just registered Democrats and Republicans can enact their respective party nomination races.
Curry’s group will have to make sure homeowners know, however, that any Duval County registered voter can vote on his tax plan.
“For Democrats, if you’re not in [United States Rep.] Corrine Brown’s district, you really have nothing to choose,” Binder said. “Exactly what they’re really going to needhave to focus on is getting individuals who are helpful of it to the surveys.”
The summer likewise has high-profile news events that will make breaking through the noise harder and more expensive. The Summer seasons Olympics will inhabit manythe majority of August. Before that, the Democratic and Republican celebrations hold their presidential conventions in late July.
Curry has actually already constructed a group of bipartisan city leaders to assist push his concept, reinforced by his respected fundraising.
Curry’s political efforts largely have actually been funded by a group of effective and loyal financial backers, numerousa lot of whom proved essential in Curry’s mayoral election last year. Insurance coverage executive Tom Petway, for example, has guided hundreds of countless donations to Curry. Donations from Petway, his family and businesses tied to him total more than $600,000, including contributions to Curry’s project last year, Construct Something That Lasts and Yes for Jacksonville.
He’s also found friends in former challengers.
In the latest round of contributions to Yes for Jacksonville, Jaguars owner Shad Khan donated $50,000, with another $100,000 coming directly from the Jaguars. Khan supported Curry’s opponent, former Mayor Alvin Brown, in the 2015 mayoral race.
Nate Monroe: -LRB-904-RRB-Â 359-4289