A Jacksonville city councilman has moved forward with the idea of levying a sales tax to help fund the city’s Police and Fire Pension Fund.
The tax would have to be passed by voters, and could appear on the May ballot.
Councilman Bill Gulliford has filed a bill which would allow a sales tax option to get on to the May ballot. The tax can’t be specifically earmarked for the pension debt, but rather it is for fire services. The intent behind the action is to use the tax as revenue for fire services and then take the money in the budget that would have been used for that and dedicate it toward the pension debt pay down.
Unfortunately, the process has another hitch still.
By state law, any new sales tax is offset by a change in the property tax. So, in order to actually generate revenue from the new sales tax, the City Council would have to vote to raise the property tax rate, but again that would drop back down when the sales tax takes effect.
Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown has repeatedly said he opposes any tax increases, so it’s unclear if he will move to veto the measure.
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