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First Coast

State Appeals Court Rejects Challenge To Jacksonville’s Pension Tax

Ervins Strauhmanis

A state appeals court Monday rejected a challenge to the half-cent pension tax that Jacksonville voters approved in 2016.

The group of citizens who filed the legal challenge argued the ballot title and summary of the referendum misled voters. One plaintiff argued in a 2017 WJCT interview city officials were also misleading voters by calling it a “tax extension” instead of a new tax.

But after a Duval county circuit judge upheld ballot measure, a three-judge appeals panel agreed.
In an eight-page ruling, judges Timothy Osterhaus, Brad Thomas and M. Kemmerly Thomas said, “None of appellants’ (the measure’s opponents) various arguments demonstrate that the ballot title and summary are clearly and conclusively defective, or affirmatively misleading.”

The half-cent tax to address pension debt will begin in 2031, after a different half-cent sales tax sunsets under the Better Jacksonville Plan.  

Photo used under Creative Commons.

Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at @lindskilbride.