The Tallahassee NAACP Calls Town Hall Meeting for Community Assembly in Frenchtown, Continuing Conversation on the Proposed $27 million in Public Sales Tax Dollars. Meeting on Monday After Thanksgiving
Attorney Mutaqee Akbar, President of the Tallahassee NAACP has called a town hall on Monday, November 29th at The Lincoln Center in Frenchtown and asks the community to attend. Attendees will be discussing how to spend our $27 million dollars in public dollars and whether local government should continue the conversation beyond their planned December 9th approval of the $27 million to the Seminole stadium enhancement project.
Since the last meeting of Blueprint, our local sales tax agency made up of City and County Commissioners, there have been conversations throughout town about continuing the discussion on whether local government should spend $27 million dollars in 1% sales tax dollars on the stadium improvements for Florida State University and the Seminole Boosters Club.
COMMUNITY TOWN HALL
Our Dollars, Our Community
The Lincoln Center
Monday November 29th
6:00 – 8:00 PM
438 W. Brevard Street
Tallahassee Florida, 32301
The 1% sales tax dollars are collected throughout the county, and are controlled by the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, made up of every City and County commissioner. The sales tax referendum passed in 2014, and collects money from sales tax dollars raised between 2020 and 2040. The portion of the tax dollars that the $27 million comes from is for economic investment to create jobs for our entire community. Using this same pot of money, Blueprint has also created a revolving loan fund for minority-owned businesses, however, Blueprint has only allocated $200,000 to that loan fund. In other words, our local elected officials are planning on gifting the Seminole Boosters 135 times as much money as they have given to a loan fund (which needs to be repaid) to our minority business community.
Beginning days before the COVID pandemic, FSU worked behind the scenes to secure political support for the $27 million dollar project to subsidize a planned improvement to add a luxury VIP seating area for their stadium.
The Florida State Boosters raised more than $90 million, for the project, when the convention center project began to be criticized publicly, FSU asked for the public to spend public dollars to subsidize the construction cost of the Seminole Boosters project. The Boosters then requested $20 million dollars, and for Blueprint to loan the money before it was collected to pay them. As a result, local government will borrow the money at a $7 million dollar loan cost to finish the Boosters’ project.
Four Commissioners opposed the move, Commissioner Jack Porter, Jeremy Matlow, Kristin Dozier, and Brian Welch, who argued that we should preserve our economic investment dollars on a project that will ensure we create jobs and widespread public benefit.
After a lengthy debate in late September, Commissioners narrowly approved to proceed with the crafting of a memorandum of understanding between the Boosters and local government.
On Thursday, December 9th, Commissioners will take the final vote on whether to borrow the money to pay for the Boosters luxury VIP stadium seating.
On Monday, November 29th, Attorney Mutaqee Akbar has been encouraging the community to be informed and weigh into the conversation. To help facilitate a community conversation and awareness of our local government dollars, Akbar is hosting a town hall for the community to come together to learn more about the use of our public dollars.
This is great news!
What is there about money designated to end blight in neglected communities that draws the rich, the developers and the FSU boosters and all? Why do they continue to devise ways to take our tax dollars when we have so many needs related to blight: housing stock, public transportation, streets and lighting needs…and on and on. I’m thinking that Blueprint.. which has been taken over by the Maddox-Burnett cabal are “in place” to redirect the mission of tax dollars. We’ve had to repeatedly argue with these people who are paid by us but who refuse to do what we ask… what we need. It’s truly ridiculous that this city has been taken over by these people who clearly think they “know better” what we need. I’m sure they are having some great laughs about how they’ve undermined all efforts for this community to fix itself. They’ve directed money to remove people’s neighborhood, replaced the neighborhoods with trails and plaques and murals. It’s totally disgusting to watch how this is playing out and how THE PEOPLE can’t stop it… This next election will give us another chance to rid our local government of folks who only listen to developers, cabalists and anyone not for the people.
If these same dollars were used in the recent renovations of FAMU’s stadium, I wish they would use some more funds to renovate the restrooms at Bragg Stadium as well. FAMU is becoming a national player in NCAA football, and their ENTIRE stadium facility should be reflective of that.
I think that among and primary to Tallahassee’s greatest economic drivers are its post-secondary institutions. If you doubt this, study the primary occupations in Tallahassee, and study the money flow into the city and it’s businesses during football season; and especially when FAMU and FSU are winning! This helps all of our neighborhoods. So I support investment in the institutions of higher learning no matter what the project. I love this city and I want to see it compete nationally in all arenas; even those that at first glance appear frivolous!
I think that it is extremely important for the people throughout the Tallahassee, FL community to truly understand what’s really happening hear with these funds. Unfortunately, those within the poverty areas, small minority businesses, some middle class residence, and the list goes on are blinded by these matters. I applaud Attorney Akbar for calling for this townhall meeting scheduled for tomorrow (November 29, 2021) from 6pm-8pm EST. I would like to participate in this meeting virtually.
I’m not sure I can come to the town hall meeting, but I strongly object to my tax dollars paying for yet another improvement to FSU’s stadium. I would rather see those funds support minority-owned businesses, small local businesses, improvements to low-income housing, and a host of things that actually help Tallahassee and Leon County residents.
I intend to vote on this issue for both city and county elections. I am tired of small groups making behind-the-scene deals that affect residents, local businesses and neighborhoods with little to no regard for our needs.
So I will
write the commissioners. I cannot be there Monday night how else can I help j
If they did a referendum on the sales tax it would be rescinded. People did not vote to raise their tax to subsidize FSU football. To redirect the money from so many horribly underfunded sites in this community is despicable and criminal. Shame on every person that sets on the Blueprint board that voted yes. Yes I can guarantee you will be remembered in the next election.
I was unable to attend the Town Hall and would like to know the outcome, and hoping the blueprint dollars were spent with care for the community at large. A group that can raise 90 million dollars definitely don’t need 27 million from the public, most of whom will never see the vip section of the stadium
FSU President Richard McCullough should withdraw the request for $20 million to FSU to enhance Doak Campbell stadium, a football stadium named in honor of a white supremacist. Shamefully all of the local black politicians including Bill Proctor, Nick Maddox, Curtis Richardson, Dianne Williams-Cox, and Carolyn Cummings stabbed the black community in the back by voting for this monstrosity. Meanwhile neighborhood libraries in Leon County are closed on Mondays supposedly because of a lack of sufficient funding. This is obscene especially when you consider the high illiteracy rate in Leon County. McCullough should also return the Koch Brothers’ money given to the FSU economics department. This is blood money used to finance “Stand Your Ground” legislation which helped to get Trayvon Martin killed.
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