All For Transportation closer to goal in Hillsborough - Florida Politics

All For Transportation closer to goal in Hillsborough

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.

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.

5 Comments

  1. Who among the “supporters” will tell the truth – the $.01 increase isn’t a “1%” or even a 14+% increase – it is in FACT A 100% INCREASE IN THE COUNTY TAX RATE. The current state sales tax rate that I have to collect and remit to the state is approximately 6%. The other 1% is the county sales tax rate. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that going from 1% to 2% is a 100% PER CENT INCREASE. But lil ole Joey lacks either the intellect or integrity to tell you the truth. I call on Joey Henderson to prove me wrong. Her “mad dash” should be focused on insisting that elected officials properly priotize the current and growing revenue to ensure our roads are fixed first! We can talk about any additional funding necessary after we get the first part correct. Until then – WE DON’T TRUST HAGEN, CRIST, MURMAN, to do the right thing.

    1. So if the sales tax levied by the county goes from 1% to 2%, why would I as a consumer honestly care? Let’s say randomly I need to purchase a TV for $450. Today that TV would cost me $481.50 at the register when I leave. Under this proposal (which addresses a problem that is painfully obvious when visiting other cities that Tampa Bay lacks any meaningful transportation options of any kind because it lacks dedicated funding for it), I would pay $486, an insignificant difference of $4.50. Going from $481.50 to $486 is a 1% increase. That’s all I care about, how much money it’s actually costing me. Personally I feel paying a few extra dollars is worth the investment for this proposal. A large portion can be used to fund road projects that anyone in the county, regardless of how you get around, would surely benefit from. It’s a no brainer here.

  2. The public doesn’t understand what they’re really signing off on. When they sign this petition, they are giving land developers a free ride, considering that the public is already paying for most of the transit costs resulting from all of the development that has occurred. By signing the petition, they are agreeing to even more of a subsidy for developers. That’s why the business community is funding the petition effort. If the petition were to be approved on the ballot, Jeff Vinik and his developer buddies will get even more subsidies for the next 30 years. Sorry Mr. Vinik but we all need to say NO to this petition. Let the land developers pay for the transit impacts they have created.

  3. I’m a supporter! The short-sighted nay-sayers never offer reasonable alternatives. Petitions are available and can also be turned in at:
    “All for Transportation”
    610 South Boulevard
    Tampa, FL 33606

  4. There is an “alternative” that is very reasonable and will do more than the sales tax petition. It raises $12.7 billion dollars over 30 years, $9 Billion for transportation which is exactly what the MPO scenario 8b in the 2040 LRTP is based on, renews the CIT tax, pays over $200 million for affordable housing(something you can’t do with the transportation tax by law), gives you transit (rail if that is what you want) and operating expenses, road capacity improvements (does limit road capacity as the 1 cent plan does), provides more economic development, funds are shared more equally, whose numbers have already been validated by the BOCC and will be by the MPO (the 1cent numbers haven’t) and last but not least leave more money in the people’s pockets even if it’s only $4.50 cent because there is not tax increase, the sales tax stays the same. $4.50 CENT may not mean a lot to some but it does to a large amount of people. The 1 % sales tax is about as regressive a tax as there is. It is for these reasons and other that no one who is a supporter of the 1% tax will debate in public those supporting the ” No tax increase Plan”. We shall see!

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