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Tampa's 'All for Transportation' Sales Tax Clears Post-Election Obstacles

The "All for Transportation" sales tax in Hillsborough County, Florida, survived a revolt and legal challenge from conservative county commissioners, despite earning 57 percent of the public vote.
July 21, 2019, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Ben Ostrowsky

"[Hillsborough] County commissioners voted Wednesday along party lines to reinstate the spending restrictions on Hillsborough's new one-cent transportation sales tax," reports Anastasia Dawson.

A county judge has recently struck down the spending restrictions after County Commissioner Stacy White filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the sales tax, approved by voters in November 2018 with 57 percent of the vote.

The spending restrictions, created by a measure authored by County Commissioner Les Miller, chair of the county commission, mimic the spending plan approved by voters, according to Dawson.

"The judge ruled that citizen-initiated sales tax was valid, but eliminated the attached provisions that ensured how the money would be spent," according to Dawson. "Instead, the judge left it up to the elected commissioners, not voters, to determine how the funds would be used. That decision opened the door for the county to use the new tax to pay for a growing list of sorely-needed but unfunded projects."

Conservative commissioners had tried to use that opportunity to redirect the revenue generated by the tax, which they had opposed all along. More details about how the sales tax will be spent under the restrictions approved by the commission are included in the article. 

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Published on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 in Tampa Bay Times
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