Light Rail and High-Speed Rail Conflated and Confused

In Tampa, voters can't seem to untangle an upcoming one-cent sales tax to fund light rail with the Obama administration's recent $1.25 billion award for high-speed rail, though the funding is completely separate.
April 27, 2010, 6am PDT | Tim Halbur
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Bill Varian reports that Tampa Bay area residents repeatedly entangle the two, and can't figure out why they need the sales tax with all the stimulus funding.

Varion writes, "Sam Rashid, a veteran of antitax campaigns who is opposing a Hillsborough tax referendum, agreed that the overlapping timing of the two issues presents a challenge to supporters.

Opponents have a simple message: The government wants to spend a bunch of money on a pipe dream. Supporters have a nuanced argument.

"You can easily sell one image. I think the picture people are drawing in their minds is of a monorail system from Disney World all through Tampa, not realizing it's two different animals," Rashid said."

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Published on Monday, April 26, 2010 in The St. Petersburg Times
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