GOP leaders reject transportation sales tax proposal in straw poll
Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe knew a proposed 1-cent sales tax to pay for rail, expanded bus service and road improvements would be a tough sell at the county's Republican Executive Committee meeting Tuesday night. So he invoked the names of Republican heroes, saying Ronald Reagan, Thomas Jefferson and Dwight Eisenhower all supported spending on infrastructure to make America more mobile. "We can discern between entitlements and expanded government and putting money in infrastructure. I'm a military man. I believe in it. I believe in roads. I believe in rail. I believe in concrete and steel," he said. "Americans build." He urged the group not to reject the plan simply because it involves a new tax. But Sharpe failed to persuade his fellow Republicans. In a straw poll, two voters were undecided on the tax, 32 voted in favor of it and 115 voted no. Read more about it here.
Janet Zink, Times staff writer