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Transportation

Group Gets Signatures For Hillsborough Transit Sales Tax Referendum

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Daylina Miller/WUSF News
Kyle Hudson of All For Transportation speaks about the 76,000 signatures the group collected to add a proposed sales tax increase amendment to the General Election ballot in November.

Hillsborough County residents will decide in November whether a one-cent sales tax increase could be the solution to traffic and transportation woes.

The community-led "All For Transportation" group succeeded in getting enough signatures for their proposed charter amendment to appear on the Nov. 6, 2018, General Election ballot.

If it passes, the amendment would increase Hillsborough County's sales tax to eight percent to fund transportation improvements.

This could include fixing damaged roads and problematic intersections - as well as considering new public transit options.

Tyler Hudson, the chair of All For Transportation, said they expect to raise $280 million the first year with the increased sales tax.

"Fifty-four percent of the funds would go to fixing roads, improving intersections - things like that. Forty-five percent would go to expand public transit options - all kinds of modes. Then one percent would go to planning analysis make sure we're growing smart."

"We're confident that will give the county the investment it needs and that, frankly, it has been lacking for too long,” Hudson said. “We're playing catch up here."

Hudson said the Hillsborough Metropolitan Planning Organization estimates there is a current backlog of between $8 billion and $13 billion worth of transportation projects.

Seven hundred thousand more people are expected to move to Hillsborough County in the next 30 years.

The proposed amendment would also create a committee to decide exactly how the money will be spent.

County commissioners refused to put the issue on the ballot in 2016, voting down the Go Hillsborough initiative. Hillsborough County voters also rejected a similar one-cent sales tax proposal in 2010.