helps Stop Gas Tax Rise
January 30th 2006
the Gas Tax
St Petersburg, Florida--As if gas costs weren't high enough,
officials in Pinellas county, Florida wanted to add more gas taxes,
some feared as a prelude to a general tax rise. It looked like they
would get it too, with a barrage of favorable media on the need to
stop gas gouging and fund public services.
Not so fast, said
the local Libertarian Party, headquartered in St. Petersburg. They
held a public meeting, e-mailed and phoned aliies, contacted
officials, and quickly cobbled an informal coalition with the
motto: "Why Are Taxes Your Major Cost?"
had already attracted attention by posting a link that gave the
cheapest gas station at their site, and distributing thousands of
flyers inviting people to check it out.
now announced that the tax rise plans are shelved for now. The
Libertarians credit their allies and average people who responded,
but now say they're continuing to work to form a coalition, L-TIPS.
It will call for less service taxes, increased property
homestead-tax examptions, all while improving services through
encouraging privatization, user circles, and business methods.
may have a shot. Libertarians in different states have established a
growing trend of substantially cutting costs while increasing
services, often by simply holding frank public meetings with workers
and service users--taxpayers--to target opportunities already known,
getting them on a to-do list, and ger enerally prodding change.
The county is on
the same page with the Libertarians on that one, priding itself for
being more advanced than other US counties in looking at
alternatives to traditional government programs, and urging best
practices--looking at things working well elsewhere--in mission
statements. However, the Libertarians say that public interest in
what is possible is in its infancy. They're looking to mobilize it
to generate suggestions and signal officials that a bolder approach
would be welcome.
have a good anti-tax record in Florida, working to cap homestead
property rises and cut taxes on senior's retirement funds.
Pinellas Libertarians (http://www.LPPinellas.org)
have taken the unusual measure of posting the county and state
budgets on their site, along with an influential booklet on
Libertarian proposals that have worked well elsewhere.It will also
be holding "Listening Workshops" throughout the next year to get
public feedback, it says.
Response so far
seems encouraging. "This is the first time I ever saw a county
budget. Thanks!" said one e-mail.
Keywords and misspellings: law legal legle libeterian party