Supporters of a drive to place a sales tax increase on the November ballot in Hillsborough County said Monday they planned to turn in about 10,000 additional signed petitions to the Supervisor of Elections.
That should move backers of the All For Transportation initiative within striking distance of the approximately 49,000 valid petitions they will need by Friday for the initiative to go forward to voters.
“We’ll have a little under 50,000 turned in,” said Tyler Hudson, chairman of All For Transportation. “We had a good weekend haul. We’re excited about what we’re seeing out there. There is a lot of grassroots enthusiasm.”
That represents a significant jump for the group, which had 19,346 valid signatures on file as of 5:20 p.m. Monday, with thousands more awaiting processing. Hudson said that approval number is low because volunteers have been concentrating on gathering signatures as opposed to delivering them to elections officials.
It is generally accepted that about 70 percent of petitions in such drives will be valid. Hudson said his group won’t take any chances.
“We want to get our total up as high as possible,” he said. “We’re confident we can do that. We’re not planning at showing up on 4:59 p.m. Friday with a bunch of petitions. We’re going to work with the Supervisor of Elections office as much as we can. We know they have a lot of things going on now.”
All For Transportation proposes letting voters choose to amend the county charter and allow a 1 percent sales tax increase to eight cents on every dollar spent. The tax would pay for a variety of transportation projects around the city and county.