Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Transit tax issue to get final public hearing

TAMPA — The public is about to get its chance to weigh in on a proposed Hillsborough County transit tax referendum.

After years of discussion by elected and civic leaders, county commissioners voted 4-2 Wednesday to hold a public hearing on proposed ballot language.

The hearing is set for 6 p.m. May 13. Afterward, they are expected to formally place the question on the November ballot. Anticipating a large crowd, commissioners voted to hold the hearing at the county's All Peoples Life Center at 6105 E Sligh Ave. in East Tampa, which has a more room than County Center downtown.

"I think we've done our work and it's time for the public to do theirs," said Commissioner Mark Sharpe, a leading advocate of the initiative. "Let the great debate begin."

Commissioners Jim Norman and Al Higginbotham, consistent critics of the measure, voted against the public hearing. Both kept their comments brief.

Norman said he wouldn't repeat his rationale for opposing the measure, which he has previously said will hurt the economy and should be pursued as a regional transit system instead of Hillsborough County going it alone.

"I guess I once again would plead that common sense prevail," he said.

Higginbotham said, as Norman also has, that a vote by commissioners to put the measure on the ballot is a vote in favor of a tax increase. He said his opposition does not stem from a lack of forward thinking, as some of those who support the initiative have suggested.

"It's just the wrong time," Higginbotham said.

Commissioners are considering asking voters if they support increasing the sales tax by one penny to pay for light commuter rail, expanded bus service and road construction. A transportation task force created by commission Chairman Ken Hagan unanimously recommended that course after nearly three years of study.

Hagan said that while he expects the initiative to fail, he said he believes the public wants an opportunity to vote on it.

Bill Varian can be reached at varian@sptimes.com (813) 226-3387.

Transit tax issue to get final public hearing 04/21/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 10:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years

    Bucs

    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard (20), the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.
  2. Scaramucci publicly airs grievances at White House

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's new communications director exploded the smoldering tensions at the White House into a full-fledged conflagration Thursday, angrily daring Trump's chief of staff to deny he's a "leaker" and exposing West Wing backstabbing in language more suitable to a mobster movie than a …

    Chief of staff Reince Priebus was called a “paranoid schizo?phrenic.”
  3. Crist votes for measure that includes money for Trump's wall

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON – Rep. Charlie Crist was for it and against it.

  4. Tampa man arrested in fatal motel shooting

    Crime

    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested on a manslaughter charge Thursday in the death of Yasmine L. Tyson on Monday night.

    Christopher Lee Carithers, 37, of Tampa
  5. St. Pete's Downtown Looper expands service with $900,000 grant

    Transportation

    ST. PETERSBURG ­— The Downtown Looper will expand its route and its hours starting in October 2018 thanks to a $900,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation.

    A $900,000 DOT grant will finance two more trolleys, a longer route and longer service hours.