Mailers on controversial penny tax to be sent out to Seminole County residents

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SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. —

Mailboxes in Seminole County will soon be filled with mailers meant to educate voters on the penny tax, which the county hopes voters will approve next month.

The proposed penny tax would bring new roads, bridges and sidewalks, including covering the cost of $19 million in proposed public projects in Winter Springs, officials have said.

The mailers are the county's latest expenditure to make sure residents know what they will be voting on come May 20.

Only Channel 9's Racquel Asa got an advanced copy of the mailer, and she learned the anti-tax movement has a number of problems with it.

There are more than 180,000 households in Seminole County with registered voters, according to the county Board of Elections.  Each registered voter will get a copy of the flier, even ones who have already made up their mind.

Winter Springs resident Ed Riordon, who has been part of the anti-penny tax movement since the beginning, took a look at the flyer Tuesday.  Riordon took issue with at least half of the county's claims, including the first point, which said, "60 percent of Seminole County's voters approved a similar tax in 1991."

It's "fuzzy math," Riordon said. “It's not given any context that the simple fact that only 20 percent of the people turned out in 1991.”

The county said it will cost less than $10,000 to print the mailers, not including the cost to mail them out to more than 180,000 homes.

Some of the information has already been distributed at some county events, but the county said once concerns were raised over some of the information, they immediately made changes.

When asked about some of Riordon's concerns, the county said those are being reviewed.

“To make sure we are educating and not advocating, we actually have our attorney and our Clerk of the Court -- two unbiased people -- review the information to make sure it's educational and not biased,” said Seminole County Commissioner Bob Dallari.

Riordon plans to hold them to that.

“We'll just challenge them at each and every chance that we get,” Riordon said.