The city of St. Pete is inviting residents to nab a Greenlight Pinellas yard sign in advance of a November referendum asking voters to support an extra penny sales tax to fund transit improvements.
The plan would replace the current portion of property taxes and boost revenue for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority from roughly $30 million to $130 million.
It would fund things like increased bus frequency, bus rapid transit and passenger rail connecting downtown St. Pete, mid-county in the Carillon business district and Clearwater.
St. Pete city council unanimously voted to endorse the campaign in December.
Even though they’re supporting the campaign touting a reduction in homeowners’ property taxes on average 6%, the move is likely to get pushback from the anti-rail group No Tax for Tracks.
That group has launched a grassroots smear campaign against Greenlight. Its spokesperson, Barbara Haseldon, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment and there’s not yet mention of any qualms on the website.
But Ben Kirby, communications director for the city, said the plan to make yard signs available to the community has been vetted by the city’s legal department.
“We can’t advocate,” Kirby said. “We can’t say ‘Vote Yes on Greenlight.’ What we can do is educate and inform.”
The city’s website has a page dedicated to info on the transit plan. It lists details about what Greenlight is and a link to more information on the campaign’s website.
The black and green yard signs read, “Get informed. Get involved. Greenlight Pinellas.”
According to the Tampa Bay Times, 11 municipalities have endorsed Greenlight Pinellas, the most recent being Madeira Beach. Just last week the City of Seminole rejected an endorsement.