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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

So where is Hagan on transit tax? Activist wants to know



A speaker during the public comment part of Wednesday's Hillsborough County Commission meeting had a question for Chairman Ken Hagan.

Just where does he stand on the November transit tax referendum?

Community activist William Schnell pointed out that Hagan formed and served on the task force that recommended asking voters whether they support raising the sales tax by 1-cent to pay for light rail, expanded bus service and road work. But he has repeatedly said he thinks it will fail while not being overly clear on whether he supports it. Schnell wanted to know Hagan's position.

Hagan told Schnell that the public comment section of the meeting is not a question-and-answer session and declined to clarify his position.

But Hagan was asked just that question during his sit-down with the St. Petersburg Times editorial board as it considered its endorsements in this year's general election. His answer then, about two weeks ago: He plans to vote against it.

Hagan said he is concerned about asking the voters to approve a tax increase under the current economic conditions. Further, he said he objects to some of the changes made by commissioners to the proposed road work plan recommended by his task force should voters approve the tax.

-- Bill Varian, Times staff writer.

[Last modified: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 4:59pm]


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