Group opposed to pension tax releases TV ad

Half-cent sales tax to solve pension problem on ballot for Aug. 30 primary

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Less than a week away from primary election day, a group opposed to Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry's half-cent pension tax proposal is coming out with its first television ad.

Curry's proposal would use a half-penny sales tax that would start in 2030 to pay down the $2.7 billion pension deficit.

But critics of the idea say that the tax just pushes the problem down the road.

WATCH: Anti-pension tax ad

The group “Just vote no,” which has gained some support from local Democrats in the past week, claims the sales tax plan to is just a tax on the city's children. The group's members believe the tax will end up costing the city more, and they suggest the city look at other methods to solve the problem.

“Taxing children is not the answer,” the group's ad says.

The group admitted it's getting a late start with its ad campaign, but it's short on money. It said the ad will hit the airwaves soon.

“At the end of the day, I don't think taxing our children is the answer to our pension debt crisis,” group member Tom Majdanics said. “Our generation can solve our challenges now instead of kicking the can to our city's kids.”

Curry and others came out this week saying there is bipartisan support for the sales tax and released new ads that show city councilmen Tommy Hazouri and John Crescimbeni, both Democrats, speaking in favor of the tax.

“Good ideas don't belong to just one party,” Hazouri says in the ad. “Solutions to problems should rise above party politics.”

WATCH: Ad supporting half-cent pension tax

Curry's office has been critical of the pension tax opposition group, saying the group doesn't have a better plan.

But the group said it does have an alternative. Its plan would be to pay the deficit down now with either a property or sales tax increase.

Former City Council president Steven Joost said he does not support Curry's tax plan.

“Because it adds $1.5 billion of extra interest in 15 years,” Joost said. “In other words, my son is 10 years old and will be 55 years old when the last payment is made.”

Curry's campaign released a statement that said:

They want to defend the status quo and risk the finance future of Jacksonville. Their position is wrong and dangerous.”

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