Bill McClure, candidate for the Florida 4th Congressional District and a sitting St. Johns County Commissioner, announced his opposition to the proposed sales tax increase, scheduled for referendum on August 30th.
In 2015, the St Johns County Commissioners voted 3-2 against a 1-cent sales tax increase in which McClure was the deciding vote to stop the board from increasing the tax. McClure is the first and only congressional candidate to announce his opposition to the proposed tax increase and bailout.
“This is what politicians do – whether it is here at home in Northwest Florida or up on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. They ignore problems, refuse to make the tough decisions, spend money they do not have and then come back to taxpayers demanding more and more. It has to stop. Families and seniors can’t afford another tax increase,” said McClure.
On August 30th, voters in Jacksonville will decide on a sales tax referendum to fund a $2.87 billion bailout of the municipality’s massive pension debt which will benefit about 2600 people in Jacksonville. The debacle stems from the excessive guaranteed benefit contracts negotiated by previous Administrators and Sheriff in Jacksonville. The current Administration said if not passed, property taxes would have to be raised 30% to fund the liabilities.
“In St. Johns County, I heard the same Chicken-Little warnings from the political elites. If we didn’t pass the sales tax increase, the sky would fall. But, the sky didn’t fall. Instead, we said no to an increase in the sales tax and got serious about implementing conservative reforms. This year, we have $3.4 million dollars in excess cash flow on a $700 million-dollar budget without cutting required services. When I was elected in 2012, we used more than $10 million dollars of reserves to balance the budget. The results speak for themselves,” said McClure.
During McClure’s tenure, St. Johns County has added over 10,000 new jobs, eliminated 300 needless regulations, and was named the 5th in the Nation on CNN’s “Best Places to Live: Where the Jobs Are” report.
“Just last year, many special interests were pushing for a 1-cent sales tax on our local residents and businesses in our County, which would have meant less money for their employees and higher costs of goods and services for the residents of the city. I stood up to the career politicians and special interests. I presented data showing the relationship between lower taxes and higher property tax values and cast the vote to kill the referendum that would have directly lead to a sales tax increase and resulted in a fundamental shift from Republican values. I have proved I can stop tax increases in St. Johns County and I will fight to stop them in Washington.”
“If you support a tax increase here in NE Florida, then you might support a tax increase in Washington. Higher taxes mean smaller economic growth, less freedom, and fewer opportunities. For too long, politicians and special interest groups have wasted more and more of the hard earned money of the American people and then passed the buck by raising taxes on them.”
Bill McClure is a candidate for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 4th Congressional District. He has approved and paid for this message. As someone that built a career in the private sector, not a career politician, McClure helped start three health care IT firms, creating thousands of jobs across the country and hundreds in the state of Florida alone.
Through his service as St. Johns County commissioner, McClure demonstrated his commitment to conservative principles by casting the deciding vote against a referendum to increase the sales tax designed to bail out special interests. Under McClure’s leadership as commissioner and his commitment to fiscally conservative policies, St. Johns County returned $27 million dollars to the taxpayers, which has revitalized small businesses and the economy of the county, adding more than 11,000 new jobs and drastically improving its bond rating from AA- to AA+, and even generated national recognition, including by CNN Money as one of the top job-creating regions in the country.