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Buckhorn names Arthenia Joyner to transit committee

The former Democratic state senator is the first person named to the 13-member transit surtax oversight committee.

TAMPA – Mayor Bob Buckhorn today named veteran Democratic state lawmaker Arthenia Joyner as his pick for a citizens committee that will oversee spending of Hillsborough County's new transportation sales tax.

Joyner was Tampa's first black female lawyer and a prominent civil rights activist. She served in the state House and Senate from 2000 until her 2016 Senate term limit.

"I'm thrilled to appoint former Sen. Arthenia Joyner to the oversight committee being formed following the passage of the recent All for Transportation Referendum," said Buckhorn in a statement. "Throughout her time in the Florida legislature Senator Joyner proved to be a tireless fiscal steward for our community while being laser focused on fighting for the needs of Tampanians, not only in her district but across the region. I trust that she will continue to provide that same focus as she ensures these new funds are appropriately allocated."

Voters on Nov. 6 approved the 30-year penny on the dollar sales tax will raise about $280 million in its first year.

Under the charter, 54 percent goes to Hillsborough County, Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace for spending on roads, sidewalks and trails.

Most of the rest goes to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit authority for expansion of buses and other transit.

The oversight committee is authorized to ensure that proposed spending plans meet that criteria with a straight up or down vote.

If two-thirds of the committee find that an agency is not following the charter, it can instruct the clerk of the court to withhold sales taxes.

Other members of the 13-member committee are expected to be named in the next few months by Hillsborough County commissioners, the mayors of Temple Terrace and Plant City, the governing board of HART and Tampa City Council.

The committee will also include a land use or real estate expert selected by the property appraiser, a certified public accountant appointed by the county tax collector, and a Florida Bar-certified attorney picked by the clerk of the court.

Members would serve three-year terms in the unpaid position. Elected officials cannot be appointed nor can anyone who would benefit from approval of projects.

Contact Christopher O'Donnell at or (813) 226-3446. Follow @codonnell_Times.