The “cost affordable” 2035 Plan is financially balanced, meaning that the estimated costs of future projects can be covered by funding that will be available in the future.
What Was Assumed in the 2035 Plan?
A new funding source – in the form of a penny sales tax – is a major assumption underlying the 2035 Plan. Under current state law, the new sales tax for transportation within a county must be authorized by a voter referendum. The 2035 Plan assumed such a sales tax would be in place, having been approved by voters, and would be used to pay for road, bus and rail improvements. The 2035 Plan includes a detailed explanation of what would be funded, when and how:
The People Have Spoken – What Did They Say?
While the November 2010 sales tax referendum to fund Hillsborough County transportation projects did not pass, recent polls suggest continued sentiment that transportation is an important issue for local government to address. The majority who voted against the measure cited the current economy as a major reason for their vote. Others cited questions about the Plan related to cost, available details, and fairness of coverage. This is not an unusual situation for a local government to be in; many communities that ultimately approved sales tax measures to fund transportation had earlier initiatives which were not approved.
Where Are We Now?
To better understand what the majority of residents in different areas of our county perceive as critical transportation issues, and what strategies they are prepared to support, the MPO is revisiting the Cost Affordable Long Range Transportation Plan by conducting focus groups with randomly selected registered voters. This research is accompanied by research into cost reduction and alternative funding strategies, and overseen by an inter-agency working group.
To see results of this research, click on the 2035 Post Referendum Analysis under 2035 Plan News.
Cost Reduction Strategies
Transportation projects can be costly, especially if they introduce a new mode such as a rail system. What other, lower-cost options are available to us? How have other communities met their transportation needs in a cost-effective manner? What are the trade-offs between these options? These and other questions are outlined here:
Potential Funding Alternatives
How have other communities paid for their transportation systems? What are the funding options in Hillsborough County? What are the pros and cons? How would these options affect you? These and other topics are explored here: