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HART officials discuss what projects transportation tax would pay for

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Although some transit supporters have expressed some unease about the fact that the proposed half-cent transportation tax that Hillsborough County voters could decide next year is loaded with road projects, the plan would provide the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit agency (HART) $30 million a year over 30 years. HART will soon be holding a host of public meetings to inform the public what’s in their Transit Development Plan (TDP), which will be similar to the wish list for bus service which…

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Tampa Bay area sees a number of projects cut by governor

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

There were some local projects of note in the Tampa Bay area that escaped Rick Scott’s veto pen Tuesday morning, but there were plenty of other local projects and programs that did not, all part of $461 million in vetoes announced by the governor’s office. Winners included USF, which received $17 million for its Morsani College of Medicine move to downtown Tampa, and $12.3 million for completing the construction of USF St. Petersburg’s Kate Tiedemann College of Business. Also $1.5 million for Clearwater…

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Hillsborough County PLG officials offer a wary perspective on proposed transit tax

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In the eight days since Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill and the members of the private transportation consulting group Parsons Brinckerhoff unveiled a proposed half-cent sales transportation tax that could be on the 2016 ballot, it has been met with decidedly mixed opinion. That’s because the measure as proposed would go largely toward road and bridge maintenance, new roads and intersection improvements. Just 36 percent is proposed for transit. Nowhere has that disappointment been more clearly articulated than Friday on the front page of the…

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Hillsborough County half-percent sales tax for transit plan goes public

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Cautious optimism seemed to be the mood espoused by many members of both the public and lawmakers this afternoon after Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill and Bob Clifford with transportation consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff delivered many (but not all) of the fine details of a proposed half-percent sales transit tax that could go before Hillsborough County voters in the fall of 2016 today. “We are ranked the 11th worst area for traffic congestion in the United States, and that’s something that I don’t…

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Transit activists unhappy with reported Hillsborough transit tax proposal

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill was briefing some members of the Hillsborough County Commission Wednesday afternoon, a day before he’ll unveil before the public his recommendations on how the county should address its huge transportation needs. As first reported by the Tampa Tribune’s Mike Salinero, Merrill will propose that commissioners put a half-cent sales transit tax on the 2016 ballot, but with only 30 percent of those funds being allocated to mass transit. Sixty percent would be for building and rebuilding…

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Mitch Perry Report for 6.2.15 — Senators doing their jobs

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Blame Rand Paul. The U.S. Senate is in session again today, and will be voting on amendments to the USA Freedom Act, which represents the first significant rollback of NSA surveillance that has been approved. Or at least that’s what the House did. Now the Senate will be working on a bill today, which means Marco Rubio will be in Washington and not Orlando for Rick Scott’s Economic Summit taking place at Disney World. Rubio will appear via video this morning…

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HART board members once again talk about funding sources

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

As officials with the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) laid out their preliminary budget and Transit Development Plan (TDP) on Monday, a couple of board members (once again) expressed frustration with the agency’s lack of access to key lawmakers who could help them obtain more funding from either Tallahassee or Washington, D.C. The recommended FY 2016 budget includes operating expenditures of over $69 million and capital expenditures of just over $12 million. The plan calls for a a 2.1 percent increase in…

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