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Duval Democratic leaders urge 'no' vote on pension tax

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County Democratic Party on Tuesday urged people to vote against a half-cent sales tax referendum to address the city of Jacksonville's pension deficit.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry's plan to address the city's $2.7 billion pension deficit, which he shepherded through the Florida Legislature, was added to the Aug. 30 primary ballot with the unanimous support of Jacksonville City Council. 

Curry and other leaders have campaigned hard for its passage, saying that to do nothing would jeopardize the city's financial future. 

But Neil Henrichsen, chairman of the Duval County Democratic Executive Committee, called the pension tax referendum a flawed policy. He said the party supports the unions and employees, but doesn't think this is the right solution to address the pension debt.

"We see this as a flawed -- fatally flawed -- public policy and a charade," Henrichsen said. "(We don't) think that tax -- 14 years into the future, taxing our children, our grandchildren, people who have no voice -- is good public policy."

State Sens. Audrey Gibson and Tony Hill joined Democratic officials in urging people to vote "no" on County Referendum No. 1.

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