Protecting Citizens Rights- Judge overturns election results in Pinellas County due to misleading ballot language.
The November 2017 election was filled with controversy. Millions of voters turned out to cast their opinions on hundreds of issues facing citizens both nationally and locally.
This included a new tax proposed in support of the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue.
The Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue District placed a line item on the ballot asking people to vote to authorize a new ad valorem tax of .5 mils for the fire district. Regardless of their reasons or needs for the funds, their methods in approaching the vote were less than forthcoming.
Instead of just making the matter clear, they spent approximately $114,000 bringing their ballot item to the voting booths and concocting a confusing ballot description to make it sound as if the voters were reducing their taxes instead of the truth, which was that voters in favor would essentially raise taxes.
A concerned citizen retained Weber Crabb and Wein prior to voting day and filed suit. However, the case did not appear before the court until after election-day.
The measure passed. But not for long.
A circuit court judge ruled in favor of our client and the residents of Pinellas County stating the ballot language was misleading and “did not accurately describe the purpose of the proposal”.
Weber Crabb and Wein are proud to protect the rights of Pinellas County citizens and we are pleased to share our victory over this matter invalidates the new tax for thousands of Pinellas residents.
To learn more on this story and read the misleading ballot language: http://www.tbreporter.com/courts/court-overturns-fire-tax-referendum/