1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Business groups boost All for Transportation in Florida Supreme Court

The Tampa Bay Partnership, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and Tampa-Hillsborough Economic Development Corp. filed a brief in the Florida Supreme Court.
The Florida Supreme Court building in Tallahassee. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
Published Oct. 22
Updated Oct. 22

TAMPA — Hillsborough’s three leading economic development groups on Tuesday filed an amicus brief in the Florida Supreme Court opposing efforts to overturn the All for Transportation one-cent sales tax that 57 percent of county voters approved in 2018.

The brief was filed by the Tampa Bay Partnership, a nonprofit multi-county organization that brings top local chief executive officers together to focus on big issues like developing workforce talent, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corp., a government-supported nonprofit that works to recruit new businesses and help existing ones grow.

“Building a robust transportation system that connects Tampa Bay is key to creating opportunities for our residents, and providing talent for our region’s employers,” Tampa Bay Partnership president and chief executive officer Rick Homans said in an announcement of the brief. “We were proud to be a founding contributor to the referendum campaign earlier this year. ... The voters have spoken loud and clear. We appeal to the justices to close the book on this case and affirm the will of the people.”

The Supreme Court is considering challenges to the tax filed by Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White and Hillsborough resident Bob Emerson. A Hillsborough circuit judge upheld the law while also striking parts of it. In addition to the local opponents, lawyers for the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate have weighed in against the tax in the Supreme Court case.

RELATED: Florida Supreme Court to decide future of Hillsborough’s transportation tax

“This court should follow the will of the people (and) reverse the trial court," the group’s brief says, calling the measure “a valid exercise of charter county home rule” that is not preempted by state law.

The tax is expected to raise more than $280 million a year for transit, bike, pedestrian and road projects around Hillsborough County.

“Our transportation issues directly affect our economic competitiveness and influence companies’ decisions to relocate or expand here," economic development corporation president and chief executive officer Craig Richard said in a statement. "Securing the All for Transportation tax revenue will help us to address some of our longstanding transportation challenges and keep our economy moving forward.”

Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for Feb. 5 in Tallahassee.


  1. Frances Werner-Watkins Julie Rinaldi
    News and notes on local businesses
  2. Left to right: Oak Hill Hospital Anesthesiology residents Daniel Eskander, Wayne Simmons, Jeffrey Huang and Benjamin Segil. Katie Stacy/Oak Hill Hospital
    News and notes on local businesses
  3. A total of 131 employees are scheduled to be laid off in January as Locale Market and Farm Table Cucina close at the Sundial to make way for a new food hall created by the developers of the Heights Public Market at the Armature Works in Tampa. CHRIS URSO   |   TIMES
    In a notice to the state of Florida, Sundial owner Bill Edwards said the layoffs are expected to take place the first week of January.
  4. WeWork is opening Tampa offices at 501 E Kennedy Blvd. despite company struggles, including $1.25 billion in losses over 2019. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    WeWork has 200 planned coworking space openings as leadership tries to manage $1.25 billion in losses.
  5. Florida's unemployment rate was unchanged in October at 3.2 percent, according to numbers released Friday. LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP
    The latest numbers were released Friday morning.
  6. Apollo Global Management has offered $130 per share for Tech Data's stock in an acquisition worth $5.4 billion. If regulators shareholders approve, the home-grown company will remain based in Pinellas County, where it employs 2,000 of its 14,000 workers. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Private equity firms like Apollo create wealth for pension funds, financial institutions and individual investors by buying assets that typically are sold later at a profit.
  7. Some of Tampa Bay's largest companies are being sold or are up for sale. Times files and Bloomin' Brands
    Tech Data is just the latest in a growing list of public companies bought up by out-of-state firms.
  8. Hillsborough Community College solicited "non-binding letters of interest or intent” last month from developers interested in purchasing the Dr. Gwendolyn W. Stephenson District Administration Center on Davis Islands. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Developers have eyed the 3.7 acre waterfront parcel for years, but recent interest has prompted the college’s trustees to finally start the conversation.
  9. Tampa International Airport looking north. The Wall Street Journal ranked it the best midsize airport in America. [Times files]
    TPA took first place in the Wall Street Journal’s annual survey of U.S. airports.
  10. Tech Data's CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with former CEO Bob Dutkowsky during a send off celebration for Dutkowsky earlier this year. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
    A private equity firm has agreed to buy Tech Data.