Hillsborough County voters will be asked to approve two different tax hikes this year---one for teacher salaries, and another for transportation.
This will be the second time voters have been asked to make the call on a 1% sales tax for roads and bridges, after a court said last year that the first one was unconstitutional.
Commissioner Stacy White led the fight against it then, and voted "no" on this one as well. "It is a downtown Tampa, light rail plan," White said. "And it is terrible for the unincorporated areas of Hillsborough County."
About 50 people signed up to speak, either in favor of, or in opposition to the tax. "(People) are struggling with inflation," one woman said. "There's a lot of economic uncertainty. And to add on top of that struggle right now, a 1% tax, it's unconscionable." Responding, Commissioner Harry Cohen said "Inflation works both ways. And if we kick the can down the road and don't do these projects right now, they will be more expensive."
The transportation tax will be on the ballot in November, while a proposed property tax increase for schools and educator salary hikes will appear on the August primary ballot.
photo: Getty Images