Supporters rally for sales tax hike in Manatee

cnudi@bradenton.comJune 14, 2013 

BRADENTON — Supporters of the proposed 1/2-cent sales tax increase rallied Friday on the steps of the Manatee County Courthouse.

Several speakers stressed the importance of voters approving the ballot initiative during the June 18 special election. If approved, officials estimate it would raise $23 million for health care program, including services for the indigent.

The speakers also denounced the campaign of groups opposed to sales tax hike proposal, especially a flier that said “approval of the healthcare sales tax increase could lead to taxpayer dollars funding abortion.”

Jonathan Fleece, healthcare attorney and member of A Healthy Manatee, a group favoring the sales tax, told the crowd of more than 80 people that the opposition was putting out misinformation.

“Don’t let them confuse you with the wrong message,” Fleece said.

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