A grassroots effort backing a one-cent sales tax increase to fund Hillsborough County transportation filed a monster campaign finance report Friday.
The group, All for Transportation, reports receiving five contributions in its first week, and included among those were six-figure checks from Water Street Tampa developer and Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik as well as businessman and philanthropist Frank Morsani. Both men chipped in $150,000.
The fundraising report came alongside the news that the group collected 10 percent of the required signatures they need to get the penny sales tax on the ballot.
“In less than 2 weeks, All for Transportation has turned in more than 5,000 petitions. That’s a testament to not only how bad the traffic congestion has become in the Tampa Bay region, but to how much support there is for finding a solution,” said All for Transportation spokesperson Tyler Hudson.
The group faces a July 27 deadline to gather the remaining 44,000 signatures it needs in order to make the ballot in November, and the $300,000 cash infusion has already helped out toward that goal — All for Transportation’s lone expenditure in the new report was a $50,000 payment to Revolution Field Strategies for petition gathering services.
As of June 22, it had $250,220 in the bank.
The push for a penny sales tax to fund transportation isn’t new. The Hillsborough County Commission voted against putting the “Go Hillsborough” initiative on the ballot two years ago. In 2010 voters rejected a similar tax proposal that would have allotted money for specific transportation projects, which is different from what’s being proposed by All for Transportation.
The initiative would send 45 percent of the funds raised to the Hillsborough Regional Transit Authority and split the rest up between county and municipal governments.
James P Davison DO
June 29, 2018 at 3:08 pm
Peter, I am disappointed that you have been duped by those “grassroots” into participating in this coverup of what is really going on with this petition. I presented a transportation revenue plan to the Hillsborough BOCC, April 19 at their regular meeting. Plan raises $8.2 billion over 25 years, all without raising taxes. Mr. Merrill asked that the numbers be verified before sending it on to the CAC foradvisement. I gave a copy of the plan to the Times reporter present at the meeting and emailed copies to several other Times reporters. I and several county ccommissioners meet with Ms Wise, Mr. Fesler and Mr. Brinkley. They informed us that the numbers in my plan were indeed accurate and on June 6th at their regular meeting the BOCC voted unanimously 6-0 to send it on to the CAC. A few days later the petition PAC was formed. The only plan the Times will print is the one in this report, for obvious reasons. A plan whose revenue stream has never been vetted nor infrastructure modeled for effect. There are too many problems with the petition, it’s plan and in the falicies it contains to enter here, but just to inform you that a PAC is being setup to expose this and fight,in court, if necessary.. I will forward you a comparision of the 2 plans so you will at least be informed. Everything I have just stated is a matter of public record.
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