Date set for public input on transit tax referendum
April 22, 2010
Taxpayers will get to weigh in on a proposed transit tax next month.
The Hillsborough County Commission on Wednesday set a public hearing on a proposed referendum on November's ballot for 6 p.m. May 13. The ballot question is whether to raise the county's sales tax 1 cent to pay for light rail and other transportation projects.
After the hearing, the board will vote to put the question on the ballot.
Commissioners Al Higginbotham and Jim Norman voted against the measure.
Commissioner Mark Sharpe, a vocal supporter of the tax, said, "We've done our job, now it's time for the public to weigh in."
Commission Chairman Ken Hagan supports putting the question to voters, but like Norman and Higginbotham, doubts they will approve it.
"Ultimately, I don't think it will pass, but people should have a say on it," said Hagan, who was a member of the county task force that recommended the sales tax increase.
The ballot question language calls for 75 percent of proceeds to be used on "transit, including local rail and an expanded bus system for express, local and neighborhood service," and 25 percent to pay for road improvements and other transportation projects.
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