Tampa Bay Sierra Club backs Hillsborough transportation initiative
The Tampa Bay Sierra Club is backing the Hillsborough County transportation plan, the environmental group announced Tuesday. The All For Transportation referendum, Hillsborough County Referendum No. 2, would raise sales tax 1 percent to fund sweeping transportation and transit enhancements throughout the county.
“Hillsborough County has paid a high price to remain the only major metropolitan area in America without a viable public transportation system,” said Tampa Bay Sierra Club Chair Kent Bailey. “We have lost opportunities for economic growth, while the best and brightest look elsewhere for walkable, bicycle friendly communities with a modern public transit system. In addition, vehicle traffic has become the largest single source of carbon pollution in the Tampa Bay area.”
The transportation initiative would raise about $280 million a year for 30 years, if approved. Of that, 45 percent would go to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority for improvements to the county’s existing bus service and other transit projects, 54 percent would go toward road projects and 1 percent would pay for oversight.
Critics of the plan say the new tax would not pay for new roads. That’s not true. The referendum language allows funding for new