Sic(k) Transit

Here we go again. The 1-cent sales tax initiative on Nov. 6–the one that would raise some $280 million over 30 years for transportation, including seed money for light rail–faces a daunting challenge. An extra cent would give Hillsborough County the highest sales tax IN THE STATE. You don’t have to be a “No Tax for Tracks” activist to have all the anti-initiative ammo you need. Moreover, you also have the School District adding a half-cent tax for all its capital needs. The timing couldn’t be worse. It’s a perfect-storm referendumb. No way they both pass, and the double tax hit likely undermines each.

The sobering reality is this. The city of Tampa voters will support–and have supported–serious transit upgrades and know they should have happened a generation ago. Those outside the urban core have different perspectives and different priorities.

Major Florida municipalities still need the legal right to hold city-only referenda. No way should those who live elsewhere be able to veto projects that benefit urban–and, yes, surrounding–areas in terms of economic growth and corporate recruiting to the environment and quality of life. There’s also the matter of self-determination. It’s not an abstraction.

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