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Why I oppose the Hillsborough transportation tax once more | Column – Tampa Bay Instances


Today, Floridians’ funds are being examined in all places we glance — from utility payments to groceries to fuel and garments. However simply when Florida residents thought they’d be getting some aid from rising inflation, the Hillsborough County Fee is seeking to elevate taxes to “enhance” transportation. The issue? That is not the time to be grabbing more cash from residents’ pockets.

Skylar Zander
Skylar Zander [ Provided ]

Inflation stays round its highest stage in 4 a long time, forcing Florida households to assume onerous about their financial future. Not solely are they pondering the best way to endure and emerge from this present monetary hunch, however they need to additionally take into account the best way to hold onto an revenue that may show to be sustainable over time. Nationally, polls have proven that nearly two-thirds of voters — 62 p.c — assume their household’s revenue is falling behind, and 83 p.c say they’re experiencing hardships attributable to elevated costs.

With a lot fear, it is rather premature for Hillsborough County to now search a one-cent gross sales tax to enhance transportation. The tax concept was launched in 2018 and thrown out in courtroom final yr. County commissioners thought of resurrecting it in 2020, however correctly thought higher of it amid the financial upheaval of the pandemic. Now it’s again, however what the Hillsborough County Fee wants to acknowledge is that many Florida households are nonetheless reeling from financial hardships.

We filed the lawsuit that in the end resulted within the Florida Supreme Court docket voiding the tax, and we had been grateful when Chair Les Miller had proposed its delay in 2020. The reasoning every time was the identical: placing the query on the poll in an try to boost taxes throughout an economically strenuous time just isn’t a prudent use of taxpayer {dollars}.

Moreover, the tax is not going to enhance transportation for all these voting on it — which is a well-kept secret the Hillsborough County Fee should come clean with. I feel that the language of the poll abstract is misleading, mentioning Tampa, Plant Metropolis, Temple Terrace, Brandon, Riverview, Carrollwood and City ‘N Nation as areas in line to obtain transportation enhancements.

Is that this what we’ve come to? Not solely taking cash from Floridians when they’re already struggling, but in addition misrepresenting who will profit from it?

It’s the job of the Hillsborough County Fee to align with their constituents in transparency and financial assist. Historical past must repeat itself on this tax — it was not the fitting time then, and it’s not the fitting time now.

Skylar Zander is the state director of People for Prosperity-Florida.


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