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Hillsborough, Plant City voters will decide questions on November ballot

In addition to the state constitutional amendment questions on the Nov. 6 ballot, there are two Hillsborough County ballot questions, and one for Plant City residents only.

• The first question is largely a housekeeping issue. It asks voters if they support changing a portion of Hillsborough County's charter that relates to prohibitions against discrimination. If approved, the change would delete the words "physical handicap" and replace them with "disability." This is in keeping with language used in state and federal regulations, as well as general usage.

• In addition to that question, the county's Charter Review Board put forward a question asking voters if they would like to see a price tag attached to future county ballot initiatives. If approved, it would require the county's budget director to prepare a financial impact statement of no longer than 75 words that would accompany future ballot questions.

The budget director would be required to provide a two-year estimate of increases or decreases to county revenue or costs associated with implementing a ballot initiative. The proposal roughly mimics requirements placed at the state level on citizen-driven constitutional questions. Tea party activists sought the financial question in 2010 in the context of a ballot initiative to raise the county's sales tax to pay for light rail and other transit investments.

• Plant City voters will be asked if they support allowing the City Commission to appoint a replacement if a vacancy occurs within 15 months of the next election. The city's charter currently requires a special election for vacancies, regardless of how close they occur to a future election. Each election is estimated to cost the city $15,000. The city of Tampa has a similar provision.

Bill Varian and Rich Shopes, Times staff writers

Hillsborough, Plant City voters will decide questions on November ballot 10/20/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 4:30am]

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