Proposed sales tax increase was great…before it was bad

A direct mail piece doesn’t just rip Palm Beach County property appraiser candidate Shelley Vana for attending what it described as a Donald Trump rally. It doesn’t just say she took gobs of money from developers and then voted for more growth.

The mail piece also says Vana, a county commissioner, voted for “the largest tax increase in Palm Beach County history.”

That vote, taken in May, was to have voters decide whether the county’s sales tax should be raised from 6 cents on the dollar to 7 cents on the dollar. That increase would generate an estimated $2.7 billion over 10 years for repairs to roads, bridges, schools and county buildings.

Vana does back that sales tax increase. Her opponent in the property appraiser’s race, Dorothy Jacks, would not say if she supports the proposed sales tax increase, which will be on the ballot in November.

“I do not think it is proper for me to advocate for or against an issue which does not directly impact the duties and responsibilities of the Property Appraiser’s office,” Jacks said when asked about the sales tax plan in candidate survey from The Palm Beach Post. ” I am glad the voters get a chance to make a decision on this in November.”

Jacks isn’t taking a position on the sales tax proposal, but Rick Asnani, the man behind the anti-Vana flier, was squarely behind the proposal earlier this year.

Working with the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, Asnani made presentations and pushed hard in favor of what the anti-Vana flier describes as “the largest tax increase in Palm Beach County history.”

When the commission voted not to use sales tax money to pay for projects backed by the Cultural Council, Asnani’s role in the sales tax push diminished.

Palm Beach County Commissioner Shelley Vana (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)
Palm Beach County Commissioner Shelley Vana (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Judge hears arguments for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago to turn over documents in suit


022709_met_mar_a_lago.JPGA judge Monday heard arguments in a demand by Palm Beach County that presumptive GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s exclusive Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, turn over documents as part of its lawsuit over damage it says flights to and from Palm Beach International Airport are causing.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge ­Richard Oftedal said he had to deal with some other cases; he heard arguments for about 45 minutes on Monday, then tabled the rest of the hearing to Tuesday afternoon.

Trump’s club is seeking money for the alleged damages and wants to force the county to keep jets from flying over the 90-year-old complex built for Marjorie ­Merriweather Post, daughter of the founder of General Foods. Trump bought it in 1985 and later converted it to a private club. The club claims airport noise and jet fuel emissions have harmed the mansion.