Top Ten Myths about the 1 cent Tax



Myth # 10. “Everybody else is charging 7%”

            Well, like my Daddy always said to me: “If all your friend’s jump off the bridge, does that mean you should too?”  Just because many counties have raised the sales tax is no justification to do it here. In fact, having a lower sales tax makes Brevard more attractive to both local and out of county shoppers.  Many companies looking to reap a windfall from the new tax dollars have contributed heavily to One For Brevard, the pro-tax PAC.


Myth # 9.  “The money will be spent wisely. There will be citizen oversight committees”

            The Citizen Oversight Committee has no authority and may be ignored by the County Commission and the School Board. There is NO guarantee as to which of the wish list projects will be funded, as the County’s list well exceeds the available twenty year revenue. As School Board member Bea Fowler said when she voted AGAINST the proposal: “I also took issue with an accompanying resolution that announced the board could make revisions in the project plan after the election. I felt it would be wrong to make promises to get the sales tax approved and then make changes”.

 Source: Florida Today, 9/17/03


Myth # 8.  “Tourists and other visitors will pay 25% of the tax”

            Highly doubtful. According to data from the Tourist Development Council (TDC), direct spending by tourists to Brevard County prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks was $659 million per year. Since 9/11 tourism has declined. The one cent (17%) increase in the sales tax would generate $6.59 million. This would account for only about 12% of the estimated $54 million in additional sales tax revenue.  Whatever monies tourists do pay on the tax is removed from the local economy, not added.

Source: TDC figures reported in Florida Today Feb. 1, 2003


Myth # 7. “So many people moving into Brevard...Our schools are bursting at the seams.”

            The fact is the population of Brevard County has grown at a 1.8% annual rate over the last five years. However, the number of students in Brevard County schools has only grown at a rate of .78% per year. Most people moving into Brevard do not have school age children.

 Sources:  Citizens Financial Report, 9/30/02 and School Board Summary 2003-2004 (Florida Today, 7/26/03)


Myth # 6.  “It will only cost the average family $1.80 per week”

          Like the 25% tourist contribution figure, this number is claimed by the Commission, the School Board, and their pro-tax allies. Even if you believe the 25% tourist figure, that would leave the other 75% to be paid by residents. With an estimate of $54 million per year ($40.5 million after ‘tourist’) in total revenue, and 200,000 households in Brevard, that comes out to closer to $3.89/week per household or $202.00/year. If tourists are paying 12%, that number jumps to $238.00/year

Source: Brevard County Commission estimate of Sales Tax revenue & 2002 US Census figures



Myth # 5. “This is the fair way to raise more needed money”

          Is it fair? Who is most affected by this tax? It is the average family, small business owner and people on fixed income who will pay the highest percentage of their income for this “fair” tax. Here’s an example. If someone goes out and buys an $80,000 boat, they pay the additional 1 cent tax on only the first $5000. If can only afford to buy a $4500 used car, then you pay the 1 cent for all of your purchase. The same is true for all the basic necessities like clothes, furniture, appliances, etc.

Source: Florida Statutes,  s 212.055(2) Local Government Infrastructure Sales Tax


Myth # 4. “We need this money to save our environment and quality of life”

          Florida has 157 state parks. Brevard County has 108 parks. The cities have numerous additional parks. We already have the EELS program, Beach & Riverfront Acquisition Program, Special Districts and a host of other programs creating greenspaces and protecting environmentally “sensitive” lands. Do we need to take an additional $50 million of privately owned land off the tax rolls, as proposed...increasing the burden on the rest of us?  We just voted additional money for parks in 2000.

Source: Florida Parks website, Brevard Parks website, EELS website


Myth # 3. “We need this money for roads”

          Brevard County has not constructed any roads for 3 years. Why? They’ve used the money for ditch cleaning. Where did the ditch cleaning money go? Good question. No one knows. The proposed wish list includes spending $23 million for Micco Road, a section of road with only 500 cars per day. There are no priorities in the list.

Sources: Brevard County Commission Project List, DOT analysis, Brevard County Budgets


Myth # 2.Brevard County Commission and School Board have been good stewards of the taxpayer’s money”

          This is the same commission that spent $7.25 million for the Sarno property that was sold the same morning for $1.2 million. This is the same School Board that had a five year increase in student population of 3.9% and a five year increase in operating revenue of 25%.  Board member Rich Wilson stated on WMEL 9/30/03 that the School Board projects were already funded over 10 to 15 years, the additional sales tax would simply accelerate some of the projects.

Sources: County records, and School Board Budget Summary 2003-2004 (published in Florida Today, 7/26/03)


Myth # 1. “If we don’t get this money, we will just have to raise property taxes”

          The Brevard County Commission just imposed their third consecutive tax increase in violation of the County Charter’s 3% tax cap.  The County’s tax revenue has grown 8.7% per year for five years (more than DOUBLE the rate of inflation and population growth combined). In spite of this, the County is crying poverty because their spending has grown at an even higher 9.2%. Even with windfall money from new construction and resales, the Commission continues to spend at an alarming deficit rate.

Sources: Brevard County Budget


Don’t believe in myths! VOTE NO NOVEMBER 4

Rally Against the Tax, Sunday, October 19 from 12-3 at Kiwanis Park, Merritt Island


 Pd. Pol. Adv. of Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility  728-1211 or 254-7061