TAMPA, Fla. - A group that worked to get an extra one-cent sales tax passed to improve roads is on the same mission four years later.
Fifty-seven percent of voters approved the Hillsborough County Transportation tax in 2018. In 2021, a judge struck it down saying it was unconstitutional, because the referendum specified how the money should be spent – something that should be done by county commission.
Earlier this year, commissioners voted 5-2 to add the penny tax to November’s ballot. All for Transportation worked initially to gather the signatures needed in 2018 to get it on the ballot and was successful at the time. Organizers said the need is even greater now and are urging voters to approve the measure again.
"I think the Supreme Court said you do it a certain way and that's exactly what we did," All for Transportation Co-Founder Tyler Hudson said. "Hillsborough County Commission put this on the ballot earlier this year, which is within the letter of the law. And there's folks are really frustrated. You know, everywhere you go in the county, I got giant potholes. Takes too long to get where you need to go."
The group said the plan is similar to the original, and it includes $183 million in road improvements annually. That road funding will go to Hillsborough County and its three cities, Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City.
"It's certainly a very similar plan. It's very balanced," Hudson said. "Every single person in Hillsborough County is going to benefit in some way. Folks might benefit differently in certain parts of the county. We need roads. We need to widen roads."
Before a judge struck down the original tax, $562 million had already been collected. That money must still be spent on transportation. Voters decide on the new one percent tax increase in November.