Hillsborough commissioners react to Kevin Beckner's transportation plan
Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner became the latest person to float a new transportation plan earlier this week.
He calls for putting a half-cent sales tax on the November ballot, but one that spans only 10 years as opposed to the 30-year tax the county is currently considering, known as Go Hillsborough.
Beckner's plan would raise $121 million annually and a total of $1.2 billion in a decade. It also includes increased development fees and reallocating millions in the county's existing budget to create a transportation trust fund.
Here's how other county commissioners weighed in on Beckner's proposed plan.
Victor Crist: Wants to see the part of Beckner’s plan that takes $25 million from the budget increased. "I really believe in a $4 billion budget we ought to be able to find $50 million, especially if we go to a zero-based budgetting process."
Ken Hagan: Expressed frustration with seeing yet another plan. "We spent nearly three years illustrating our enormous transportation deficit and the fire straits of our transportation network," Hagan said. "We are weeks away from scheduling a referendum and we are still chasing our tails."
Al Higginbotham: "This, to me, is healthy," Higginbotham said. "I think people would support a tax if they had a history of government delivering...People are angry. People don't trust us. We've got the oppportunity here to show that we can do things right.
Les Miller: "Every time we look around, somebody comes up with their own plan," Miller said. "(Go Hillsborough) is there. We have a plan. Let's put the plan forth. Let the public ddecide if they want to be taxed."
Sandy Murman: "I think this is really doable," Murman said. "I can't say on the sales tax I'm there yet. But as long as for plan B we could do a local option gas tax, that might be the secret. But it's something we can do now."
Stacy White: Clarified that he is still against a sales tax, but thinks this is a better option than Go Hillsborough. "The taxpayers don't trust politicians to spend the money right. If we're going to tip toe forward on a transportation plan, we're going to have to prove that we're committed to doing this right and the project list is going to be locked tight and we won't deviate from it. That's where I very much like to think in terms of five- to 10-year increments."
Hagan, Miller and Beckner had all previously said they would support putting Go Hillsborough, the 30-year, half-cent transportation referendum, on the November ballot. Higinbotham, Murman (who has also pitched her own counter plan) and White oppose placing the sales tax on the ballot. Crist is undecided.