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Transportation Tax Funds: Roads Receive a Minority Share, Stirs Community Concern in Hillsborough

Hillsborough County Receives Less Than Half of Expected Funds for Transportation After Sales Tax Cancellation

Hillsborough County Disappointed by Allocated Transportation Tax Funds

According to a published article of Tampa Bay Times, Hillsborough County received disappointing news with the release of the state budget proposal on Tuesday, as it earmarked less than half of the funds collected from the transportation sales tax that was ultimately canceled. Despite the accumulation of funds since 2019, the money has remained untouched since 2021 when the Florida Supreme Court rejected the tax. Despite the county’s increasing population and persistent traffic congestion, resources for road improvements remain limited, and public transit options remain constrained. Out of the $589 million collected, only $256 million is designated for road repairs, $171 million is allocated to cover legal expenses from the lawsuit, and $162 million is intended to provide temporary relief from certain sales taxes.

READ ALSO: 2024 Tax Brackets: Bigger Refunds Await Taxpayers!

Transportation Tax Funds: Roads Receive a Minority Share, Stirs Community Concern in Hillsborough. (PHOTO: Tampa Bay Times)

State Budget Falls Short on Transportation Funding Amid Legal and Operational Hurdles

Local leaders express dissatisfaction with the situation. Tampa Mayor Jane Castor once a strong supporter of the tax has not commented on the new plan. Hillsborough Commissioner Pat Kemp voiced disappointment emphasizing the need for significantly more funding for transportation projects. This decision from the state follows the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling in 2021, deeming the 1% tax increase approved by over half of the county’s voters in 2018 unacceptable. The court believed it was inappropriate to specify precisely how the funds should be utilized. While a setback, the state’s budget plan allocates less than anticipated for crucial transportation initiatives, raising concerns about addressing the growing transportation demands in the county.

READ ALSO: Childcare Tax Relief Puts Pen To Paper On Tax Credit Bill!

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