The Tampa Downtown Partnership is backing the All for Transportation referendum that, if approved, would levy a 1 percent additional sales tax on non-medical, non-food goods to fund transportation and transit improvements.
The nonprofit organization works to cultivate public and private collaboration to increase economic development in downtown Tampa. The group represents 225 member companies, 66,500 employees and 8,100 residents.
Its green light on the transportation referendum is a win for campaign organizers. The group’s advocacy could help expand support for transit funding outside the downtown core because it has broad reach through its membership.
“The Tampa Downtown Partnership believes it is time for Hillsborough County to invest in funding measures that will offer a variety of transportation and transit options to be made available for our citizens. ‘All for Transportation’ is a long-term investment that provides the funding, planning and implementation strategy to take aggressive and responsible action on transportation issues that will improve the quality of life in our community,” the group wrote in a statement.
The Partnership based its decision on nurturing the live-work-play ideals important for downtown commerce, living and recreation. The Partnership’s board unanimously voted to support the referendum during a meeting this week.
The group is asking its members, community stakeholders and partners to support the measure as well.
The All for Transportation initiative would raise $289 million a year with 45 percent going to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority for increased transit options including a more robust bus network and new, fixed guideway transit. The other 55 percent would go to Hillsborough County and the three cities within the county for use on road projects including pedestrian and bike lanes and trails, traffic technology to reduce congestion, road and bridge repairs and complete street projects.
The revenue could not be used for road widening projects, according to the ballot language.