By Michael Maurino, Director of Government Relations, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce
Transportation plan will get public hearing: The Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners voted Wednesday to set public hearings in order to adopt mobility fees and put a half-cent sales tax transportation referendum on the November 2016 ballot. On April 26, the Commission will discuss mobility fees, which are fees charged to new development to fund transportation improvements in the area of the development. A vote of the Commission would enact the fees. On April 27, the Commission will discuss a half-cent sales tax referendum to fund road, transit and pedestrian projects. A Commission vote would place the item on the November 2016 ballot for voters to consider.
Transportation was a theme of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s State of The City speech on Tuesday. Mayor Buckhorn noted the need for an improved transit system in the City of Tampa, including rail. If approved, the proposed Hillsborough transportation plan would allow jurisdictions to use their share of funding as they see fit. It is expected that the City of Tampa would use about half of their funds on upgrading the Tampa Streetcar.
TPA > NO1: Confirming what people in Tampa already knew, Tampa International Airport was rated the top large US airport according to a survey of 170,000 passengers by AirportXP. The airport also opened new shops and restaurants this week as part of their ongoing expansion.
Tax cuts become law: Governor Rick Scott signed into law this week a repeal of the sales tax on manufacturing equipment, as part of a tax cut package passed by the Legislature this year. The package was worth about $129 million, and includes a three-day sales tax holiday for back-to-school supplies.