Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mitch Perry Report 10.28.12 - Would Tally let the people of Tampa tax themselves for transportation?

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 8:09 AM

The Tampa Tribune's lead editoriall today focuses on something we've heard a lot about in recent months amongst those who advocate for light-rail in Tampa - that somehow the Legislature should pass a law to allow cities to ask for sales tax increases on their own.

The Trib writes that "This would allow city voters to add rail and bus service in areas that need it."

It would, though of course the revenues for transportation would certainly be lower than if they came from a county, such as what would have come through if the referendum that went down to defeat in 2010 in Hillsborough County.

But our question to local officials in Hillsborough County is - is there a state legislator who will back such a bill? Will that person come out of the shadows and say they'll sponsor this? And then of course, can it pass through the Legislature and obtain Rick Scott's signature to become law?

The Grover Norquist no-new taxes mantra remains a given in Tallahassee. Though such a bill would simply allow citizens to decide on their own if they want to tax themselves to fund transportation, some say it remains dubious such a law would pass.

It was a busy day locally in the Tampa Bay area. In Clearwater, Pinellas County Commissioners voted to restore fluoride back into the drinking water supply - but not without some outlandish statements opposing that vote.

In Tampa, Mayor Bob Buckhorn and all of his city department heads proudly unveiled the InVision Tampa master plan yesterday.

There apparently is a dispute about who needs to take the lead in Tallahassee regarding approving increased reimbursement payments to primary care doctors who handle patients on Medicaid. Congresswoman Kathy Castor says it's time for Scott to step up.

And Tampa Bay area bicycling activist Alan Snel has moved on to Las Vegas to resume his journalism career - but he has some parting words for the community on making biking safer.

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