Duval County referendum on half-cent sales tax

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A referendum proposed by Mayor Lenny Curry, authorized by the Florida Legislator and Jacksonville City Council will appear on the August primary for all Duval County voters.Referendum on half-cent sales tax 

The referendum would authorize a half-cent sales tax to fund Jacksonville's employee pension plans, which are currently $2.7 billion in debt. The tax would begin in 2030 when the current half-cent sales tax funding the Better Jacksonville Plan will end. The tax could solely be used to pay off the pension liability and would end when the debt is paid off, but not last beyond 2060.

Curry's proposal also calls for some or all of the city's current pension plans to be closed and/or changed to require employees to contribute a minimum of 10 percent of their salary -- provisions that are not yet negotiated with the unions representing those employees.

Here's the official language that will appear on the ballot:

Permanently closing up to three of the City’s underfunded defined benefit retirement plans, increasing the employee contribution for those plans to a minimum of 10%, and ending the Better Jacksonville ½-cent sales tax are all required to adopt a ½-cent sales tax solely dedicated to reducing the City’s unfunded pension liability.  Shall such pension liability sales tax, which ends upon elimination of the unfunded pension liability or in 30 years maximum, be adopted?"

In the weeks before the election, New4Jax will provide arguments from those supporting and opposing this referendum.