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Hillsborough sheriff backs transportation gross sales tax – Tampa Bay Occasions


TAMPA — Hillsborough County’s proposed 1% gross sales tax for transportation picked up key help Wednesday from Republican Sheriff Chad Chronister.

“This funding in fixing our transportation infrastructure will assist make everybody safer,” Chronister mentioned in an announcement launched by All For Transportation, the committee advocating for the referendum.

“Supporting an initiative that reduces site visitors accidents and fatalities whereas permitting for quicker response instances for first responders is sensible and I’m assured that this plan will assist try this,” Chronister mentioned, pointing to extra sidewalks, bike lanes and expanded highway lanes the tax would finance.

Chronister is the one elected Republican holding countywide workplace in Hillsborough. His endorsement contrasts to the “no” votes from Republican commissioners Ken Hagan and Stacy White, who opposed the gross sales tax ordinance in April.

The county’s firefighters’ union additionally endorsed the initiative voters will consider Nov. 8.

“For no less than the previous 15 years, Hillsborough County’s infrastructure spending has not been in a position to maintain tempo with our progress,” mentioned Tim Pearson, president of Hillsborough County Firefighters Native 2294. “As first responders, we battle by site visitors daily attempting to get to somebody’s emergency and every year it will get more durable as extra vehicles are on the roads.”

Chronister’s backing additionally differs from the acknowledged opposition from Joshua Wostal and Scott Levinson — Republican candidates working for county fee seats.

“Whereas it’s by no means time to boost taxes, the price of doing nothing is staggering,” mentioned Chronister.

If voters approve the 30-year tax, 45% of the proceeds can be earmarked for the Hillsborough Space Regional Transit Authority. The county and the cities of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant Metropolis would divide 54.5% based mostly on their populations, and 0.5% can be put aside for the Hillsborough Transportation Planning Group.

The tax is projected to boost $342 million in its first full yr of collections.

“Regardless of the place you reside or work, the All for Transportation plan advantages everybody in our county, together with our first responders, who see firsthand the tragedy that comes together with having among the most harmful roads within the nation,” mentioned Tyler Hudson, co-chairperson of All for Transportation.


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