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Latest Poll on Green Light Pinellas

Skewed Poll or not GreenLight Pinellas is starting to look like a dud

The latest Poll on the Greenlight Pinellas sales tax referendum was commissioned by local surgeon Dr. David McKalip.

You can see the full results and charts at The Sun Beam Times 61% say “No Tax Hike” for Pinellas Rail. Few Will Ride the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Train.

The poll results are as follows:

The poll started as follows: “This is quick poll on the Greenlight Pinellas sales tax referendum in November.”

Do you support raising sales taxes to build a commuter train from St. Petersburg to Clearwater?
Yes: 38.7%
No: 45.3%
Not sure: 16.1%

 Are you likely to ride a train between St. Petersburg and Clearwater on a regular basis?

Yes: 17.6%
No: 73.9%
Not sure: 8.5%

Were you aware that Sales taxes will be raised from 7 cents to 8 cents, a 14% increase, creating the highest sales tax in Florida?
Yes: 37.4%
No: 56.3%
Not sure: 6.2% 

Do you still support raising sales taxes to build a commuter train from St. Petersburg to Clearwater?
(This question was only asked to 1095 people who said Yes or Not Sure to the first question)
Yes: 55.2%
No: 30.0%
Not sure: 14.8%

Overall support for raising sales taxes to build a commuter train from St. Petersburg to Clearwater, (including fourth question change of responses):
Yes: 30.1%
No: 60.9%
Not sure: 9.0% 

There has been a lot of carping that the poll questions are skewed, and from a purely scientific poling perspective they probably are.

But for the most part they seem to be the questions the public would like answered.

The Poll seems to show that once people get some of the underlying facts about the sales tax/GreenLight effort they have pretty strong opinions.

Interesting piece in the St. Petersburg Tribune by Christopher O'Donnell Rail Backers Say Pinellas poll skews results. Even the headline is telling "Rail Backers..." You don't see the bus backers because in reality there are not any. At least none willing to require that the money is spent on buses

The people who really want this $100 million dollar annual tax windfall are the people defined in the very last line of the article "A consortium, of Realtors and development firms...". Not exactly people you would bump into on a bus or train ride for that matter.

As a Realtor or development firm, if you haven't already ponyed up to a GreenLight PAC, you might want to think twice about throwing your support to an effort over half of the public seems to think is a bad idea. You can probably get more political bang for your buck elsewhere.              

E-mail Doc at: dr.webb@verizon.net. Or send me a Facebook (Gene Webb) Friend request. Please comment below, and be sure to share on Facebook and Twitter.
Disclosures: Contributor to
No Tax for Tracks

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Scooter Dave January 28, 2014 at 10:08 PM
So, this "Push-Poll" proves that if you present people with NTFT spin, they will take the bait hook, line and sinker. That is why PSTA (learning from the lessens of HART) spent multiple years with a transparent communication and analysis project touching all points of the county, and is being properly presented to voters so they can make an informed decision. How about that FOURTEEN PERCENT sales tax increase. #1. If you left Lowes today with your receipt for EXACTLY $100, after the FOURTEEN PERCENT increase, what would your charge be? $140? $114? $101.40? Ask NTFT. #2 If you leave Publix with your receipt for EXACTLY $100 worth of grocieries and medicines (like the poor and fixed income seniors), what will your bill be after the FOURTEEN PERCENT increase? The NTFT want to scare those "seniors on fixed incomes", but leave out a little bit of truth. Yes, its FOURTEEN PRECENT, but what is the new charge? Is It: $140? $114? $101.40? or something different. No Tax for Tracks follows the old "bait and switch" used by snake oils salesmen since the beginning of time. They say something, it sounds true enough, it even rings true. Its VERY SCARY so you are supposed to stop thinking. No think for a minute. How much will the $100 at lowes be? and the $100 at Publix or Sams Club or CVS? Ask NTFT.
Cathy Wilson January 28, 2014 at 11:02 PM
I'm neither a Realtor or a developer yet I will be voting "yes" on the ballot question. Why? Because I don't think building wider, longer and/or farther reaching roads ad infinitum is a workable solution to our transportation problems. We need a better bus system and, if we grow as predicted, a rail system to tie the bus system together over a larger area. None of us can or will drive our cars forever and I, for one, would like to have some options after I hang up the keys.
Mitchell McConnell January 29, 2014 at 06:47 AM
If you want better public transportation, it is hard to fathom why you would want any kind of rail, whether light or heavy. Rails only go point-to-point, whereas at least buses can go where the traffic wants/needs to go, and can be re-routed if needs change.
sparky January 29, 2014 at 09:15 AM
The best way together me to vote for something is for the other side to show extreme prejudice. This survey is a load of horse manure. Ask first if you regularly travel between St. Pete and Clearwater and then ask if they would use rail. The 14% question is just terrible. As others have said what does it mean? Being verbally asked you get a tax rate of 14%-outrageous, you bet but that is what the tourists pay at beach hotels...I will vote yes because our quality of life needs the vision of mass transit that is not exclusively buses ot just for Pinellas, but for the entire state.
Concerned Floridian January 29, 2014 at 11:16 AM
Very interesting poll. Thanks for providing the results of it. If I were a proponent of this project, I'd get busy working on convincing the 16.1% Not Sure responders of question 1. Bringing these folks aboard could turn the scale in favor of Greenlight Pinellas. While trashing the opinion of folks who, at this point of time, dislike the project or are leery of it, is surely not an effective incentive to make them change their views.
Dennis Raymond January 29, 2014 at 12:56 PM
What a ridiculous poll. Reminds me of the push poll used by the George W Bush team in South Carolina with the question - "If you knew that Senator McCain had a black child, would you vote for him?". Influencing voters with misleading poll questions is pretty low.
JudyToo January 29, 2014 at 02:17 PM
http://www.sunbeamtimes.com/2014/01/29/greenlight-pinellas-11-deceptions-revealed-endless-deception-is-the-goal/ ................... So everyone who supports Greenlight is happy to give PSTA $130 MILLION a year forever instead of the $30 MILLION we now pay through our property tax.......That's just great, PSTA fails and the solution is to give them four times as much money, a 333% tax increase........And trust them to do the right thing......They will do the right thing - for the realtors and developers and the politicians who are being influenced by the money grab.......Has anyone ever heard of the phrase "follow the money?"......Has anyone ever taken it upon themselves to actually verify what Greenlight is, what they will do with our money?...........So far, no one has questioned their astounding failure to operate a relatively simple bus system, one that has spent more money every year for 30 years and still hasn't got it right...........We are already paying a very high price for empty buses!............ By the way, this poll was more accurate than any previous polls:........http://www.sunbeamtimes.com/2014/01/28/only-deceivers-think-the-truth-is-misleading-greenlight-pinellas-goes-on-attack-against-accurate-rail-poll/ ...........Read the other side of the story.....Then come up with some real facts, real examples of what light rail can actually do for us.
Scooter Dave January 29, 2014 at 03:39 PM
The Tea-Party people in Tallahassee voted against federal medicare coverage for the poor because *IF*, after 100% federal coverage for 3 years, and 90% federal coverage forever, *MAYBE* someday that support *MIGHT* fail. Today, if you live in Florida and have no income, you cannot get medicare unless you have children, there is just NO MONEY to give. So because it *MIGHT* fail *SOMEDAY*, people in Florida get sick, go without pills, and die TODAY. Rather than doing what is best for today today, and managing imaginary "what if" if and when they occur So now we hear the same Tea Party about transit. *MAYBE* busses will be used less (as gas prices go up). *MAYBE* the promised federal grants for the rail link between the Bay Area and Orlando (that Tallahassee GOP nearly killed themselves to stop) wont be there. *WHAT IF* the FDOT commitment for a rail connection along the Howard Franklin doesn't materialize. Why are these same Tea-Party GOP willing cut Pinellas in half, and sink BILLIONS into turning US-19 into a freeway so cars can rush to New Port Richey? They don't ask you to "Follow the money" here. They didn't ask if we want to "Pay for these roads forever" even though every day of every month of every year since I have moved to Florida I have encountered crews repaving, repairing or widening surfaces streets packed bumper to bumper with cars. The Tea-Party show hypocrisy. They accuse their opponents but ignore the same standards for their own pet projects. When they support a project, they say anyone opposing it either wants payola or big government. The Tea Party forgets that YOU are "the government", and me, and them. WE all decide what is considered a requirement for our residents. Is it clinical care, or "bite on a spoon". Is it a single lane gravel road, two lane paved, 8-lane with turnouts, flyover bridges, or light rail? The Tea Party doesn't get to pick and claim anyone picking a different solution is a crook or an idiot. WE know that, now YOU go tell THEM. We are all in this together.
JudyToo January 29, 2014 at 11:00 PM
That is an interesting rant........ And I thought this was about buses......... Always someone trying to turn every discussion into politics.
JudyToo January 29, 2014 at 11:43 PM
Does this sound familiar to you, Dave?.........There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained in order to create a socialist state. ...........The first is the most important. 1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people ..........2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live. ...........3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty. ...........4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state. .........5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income) .........6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school. .........7) Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools ...........8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. .......This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
Walter Talley January 30, 2014 at 07:01 PM
Who conducted this poll ? I do not support any new rail tax.
JudyToo January 30, 2014 at 07:45 PM
http://www.sunbeamtimes.com/category/psta/rail/ ........ Read about the poll and other perspectives on the PSTA scheme.
Scooter Dave January 31, 2014 at 02:21 PM
>>> The Tea Party forgets that YOU are "the government", and me, and them. WE all decide what is considered a requirement for our residents. Is it clinical care, or "bite on a spoon". Is it a single lane gravel road, two lane paved, 8-lane with turnouts, flyover bridges, or light rail? The Tea Party doesn't get to pick and claim anyone picking a different solution is a crook or an idiot. WE know that, now YOU go tell THEM. We are all in this together. <<< Who has a "Rant" here. People in my family use public transit due to disability. I talk to people at bus stops. I know nice, middle class people in nice middle class neighborhoods doing without a license for several months while sorting out a DUI. Maybe, Judy two, you're a stay at home mom, with two arms, legs, and eyes, and plenty of time and money where you don't need to take transit to work. I am paying high taxes (unemployment fees, SNAP taxes, more sheriff/police, higher home insurance, extra medicaid, more jails) because otherwise employable people cannot afford reliable transportation (cars) to get and keep steady work. Speaking of "follow the money"? Do YOU own a string of over priced Used Car lemon-lots and ripoff car repair garages down in the poor part of town? You seem to want to make sure everybody stays poor while you laugh your way to the bank selling and repairing overpriced clunkers. Lots of people make lots of dough making sure those that want to work and could work cant get reliable transportation to a steady job. Noun, Verb, 9/11 doesn't work anymore. So now its "uppity", "lazy", and "socialism", right? Put down whatever you're drinking to lecture me on economics and tax policy.
Mitchell McConnell January 31, 2014 at 02:33 PM
Light rail between St. Pete and Clearwater won't help any get anywhere, except between St. Pete and Clearwater. It won't help the people you talk to at bus stops... public transportation has to go *many* places where people live and work. I don't see how fixed rail of any weight does that.
JudyToo January 31, 2014 at 08:53 PM
It is not really about public transit:..................................... http://www.sunbeamtimes.com/2014/01/29/greenlight-pinellas-11-deceptions-revealed-endless-deception-is-the-goal/
Scooter Dave February 05, 2014 at 01:42 AM
There are 16 stops on the Clw/StP rail line. Why are opponents obsessed with saying "clearwater to st pete"? Because it sounds true enough, and scary, like someone's playing a trick on you ... Whats reality? Will people relocate to within .75 to 1mi of each of those 16 stations? I heard NTFT opponents call it pack & stack housing. Part of a secret UN plot to destroy our country. Google it, they say PSTA busses use tinted glass to hide the illegal immigrants they bus in daily right under our noses, and for the UN soldiers who will be brougjt in to enforce UN mandate #21. The Tea Party says "the government" is going to MAKE you give up your home and yard and be forced into the behemouths. But others call that low cost car free living. And it represents the construction of thousands of new residential units, all paying brand new property taxes, spending money locally, eith no new road congestion.

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