Brevard Supt. of Schools Brian Binggeli threatened potential cuts to arts programs while increasing class sizes, threatened to use temporary mobile classrooms, threatened to fire people, etc. IF the 1/2% (one half cent per dollar) sales tax increase doesn’t pass in November.
This would seem fair if sales tax money wasn’t being given away by the hundreds of millions of dollars to special interest groups. We would pay the increased sales tax as certain select groups are handed the money. Not fair.
Threatened. Yes, that is the correct word. At the “informational meeting” at Viera H.S. on the night of Presidents Day, Feb. 17, a national holiday when schools are closed, Binggeli framed his arguments. He used massive projected charts which showed pages of people fired (For some reason, he said that no teachers would be fired – only contract workers who teach, whatever that means to him.), classes cut, class sizes increased, programs ended, bus problems left as-is, and lots more. Could be. Might happen.
Binggeli then professed to love every item on the lists, but somebody has to MAYBE cut, cut, cut. And Binggeli is the man to do it. So he said.
Now, IF the 1/2 cent sales tax passes, he MAY decide that SOME of these terrible things MIGHT NOT have to be done. NO PROMISES, mind you.
Binggeli promised to “take this show on the road” thirty times or more if necessary. And that is precisely what it is, a Dog and Pony Show. It is scheduled to be repeated on Feb. 27 at Astronaut H.S. – framed argument, threatened cuts, charts, dog, pony and all.
Some very sincere people who want to save our schools believe in the increased sales tax solution based on Binggeli’s own projected charts. They want to trust Supt. Binggeli’s judgment. Unfortunately, this sales tax is a regressive tax which hurts seniors on limited or fixed incomes, Brevardians who work for lower wages than they previously made, those who work several jobs trying to make ends meet for themselves and their families, indeed all of us who are not independently wealthy.
Binggeli told us, with deep reverence in his voice, about attending meetings with “really important corporate leaders.” Binggeli did not mention that these same corporations pay little or no taxes. Of course they support a regressive sales tax increase that allows their corporations to remain barely taxed or tax free.
What else did Binggeli and the Board not tell us? What incredibly important information was left out of the decision to seek a 1/2 cent sales tax increase (8.3% increase – from 6% to 6.5%) on every taxable thing we purchase?
As a “tax incentive” the state allows certain retail companies and many other corporations, businesses and organizations to keep the sales taxes and/or exchange them with other corporations.
*Major League Soccer – read the Miami Herald HERE.
*Hollywood producers (or any other film making corporations) up to $1 Billion- read the Florida Watchdog HERE.
*Scholarships to pay for-profit schools (or non-profits that use the money by paying for-profit contractors) – read The Ledger HERE.
*Vouchers for religious affiliated educational/job training organizations – read the Palm Beach Post HERE.
*Organizations that could swing votes to a particular political party or candidate – read Scathing Purple Musings HERE.
* Speaker of the House Will Weatherford’s new bill that expands even wider the giving away of sales tax money – read Bob Sikes’ blog HERE and additional sales tax exemptions detailed by the Florida Department of Revenue HERE.
Yes, Binggeli is holding our children, our teachers and our schools as hostages for the passage of an increase in sales taxes. Yet, sales taxes are being given away on a massive scale to special interest groups and corporations. Many other corporations are simply exempted from paying any sales taxes on their purchases. We, however, pay that sales tax. Not fair.
The 1/2 cent sales tax would be well worth it if our children and schools would definitely benefit from it. There is no assured benefit to our children or schools if the sales tax increase passes in November. Not fair.
Why isn’t Binggeli fired? (If this is indeed his best judgment, he deserves to be fired.)
Why don’t Brevard Board of Education members do their own simple online searches about this topic rather than present a solution of a 1/2 cent sales tax increase that, once we see the whole picture, is obviously so very wrong? Perhaps they to wanted to trust Binggeli’s judgment.