A tri-county rail vote? Pasco commissioner says try it
Pasco County Commissioner Ann Hildebrand says Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties ought to have referenda at the same time to add rail, despite the dim view of a tax increase taken by voters in Hillsborough Nov. 2. It's actually not an isolated opinion -- some members of a task force in Pinellas want a regional approach to asking voters to raise the sales tax.
Pasco's long-range transportation plan calls for a transit tax referendum by 2020, but Hildebrand said a tricounty effort should not wait that long.
"If you have three cheerleading counties, you have a better chance of succeeding," said Hildebrand, Pasco's representative to the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority.
And here's something from the story that won't necessarily please Pinellas advocates who want a cross-bay connection over the Howard Frankland Bridge: Hildebrand said Pasco is the most logical first connection from Hillsborough. Taking light rail lines from the University of South Florida through New Tampa to the Wiregrass Ranch area would be easier than building a bridge from Hillsborough to Pinellas, she said.