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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Business community forms pro-TBX coalition

The battlelines hardened Monday between those who support and oppose a multi-billion expansion of Tampa’s interstates, known as Tampa Bay Express.

A coalition of more than 20 of Tampa Bay’s business organizations came out in support of the project and formed TBXyes, including Tampa International Airport, Tampa Downtown Partnership and the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

“Tampa Bay Express is vital to the connectivity and competitiveness of Tampa Bay,” said Rick Homans, president and CEO of the Tampa Bay Partnership, in a statement released Monday afternoon. “Our continued economic growth depends on an efficient, reliable transportation system to move goods and people throughout the region. With TBXyes, the region's major business groups are standing together to support this project and ensure that our collective voice is heard loud and clear.”

A  citizen group which has opposed TBX since public meetings started last year quickly released a rebuttal later that afternoon.

“(W)e are shocked and outraged by the clear conflict of interest inherent in this effort and in particular at government-funded organizations’ participation,” the release from Sunshine Citizens, a community group opposing TBX, said. “The billions of dollars in the TBX project should be invested instead in comprehensive transportation systems that will help attract top talent, draw relocation by innovative firms and private sector investment, and drive unprecedented economic development.”

Organizations participating in the TBXyes regional coalition include the following:

* Bay Area Apartment Association (BAAA)

Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation

* Building Owners and Managers Association Greater Tampa Bay (BOMA)

* Central Florida Development Council

* Central Pinellas Chamber of Commerce

* Florida Gulfcoast Commercial Association of Realtors (FGCAR)

* Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce

* Greater Tampa Association of Realtors

* Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

* Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce

* Manatee Chamber of Commerce

* NAIOP Tampa Bay

* Pinellas Realtor Organization

* Port Tampa Bay

* Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce

* Tampa Bay Partnership

* Tampa Downtown Partnership

* Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation

* Tampa Innovation Alliance

* Tampa International Airport

* Westshore Alliance

[Last modified: Monday, May 2, 2016 5:52pm]


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