Findings and recommendations released
Over the past four months, GO Hillsborough has been listening, and our community’s highest priority is transportation. With population growth projected to add about a half a million new residents over the next 25 years, combined with significant shortfalls in transportation funding, Hillsborough County is facing a potential transportation crisis. It is clear our community must start planning and paying for transportation improvements now before things get any worse.
At the June 11th meeting of the Transportation for Economic Development (TED) Policy Leadership Group (PLG), the findings and recommendations to address this were presented in the Community Transportation Plan. The plan recommends placing a ½ percent sales tax on the November 2016 election ballot. At the same time, new growth will be required to pay an increased and equitable share for its transportation impacts.
The sales tax is expected to generate $3.5 billion over 30 years. Approximately 2/3 of the revenue would be dedicated to road work including new roads, back-logged maintenance, smart traffic signals, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. About 1/4 of the revenue will go to HART for improving and expanding our bus system. Tampa, Temple Terrace, Plant City and Hillsborough County would have the option to dedicate a greater portion of their share to transit projects if they so choose.
At least a dozen public meetings will be scheduled in late summer/ early fall to gather more public input on specific projects that should be included in the proposed referendum. To read more about the GO Hillsborough initiative, visit the Tampa Bay Times dedicated page or GOHillsborough.org.