Friends of Greenlight, the independent political committee supporting the Greenlight Pinellas Plan, posted more than $26,000 in fundraising from July 5-18.
According to reports filed with the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office, the PAC raised $26,260 in the two-week reporting period. It now shows a total of $615,175.
Twenty-four donations came in during the reporting period — the largest was $25,000 from Oldsmar-based information technology firm Vology.
At the same time, the group spent $35,875 with SGA, a data mining, polling and consulting firm based in Gainesville.
Friends of Greenlight is the political arm of the Greenlight Pinellas initiative, which asks voters to approve a one-cent sales tax in November to expand the county’s public transportation. Sales tax revenue will replace the current Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority ad valorem transit tax, raising the county sales tax to eight percent — the highest in Florida.
If approved, Greenlight will increase the PSTA operating budget to $130 million, for expanding bus service nearly 65 percent. Also planned is a laundry list of service changes, such as express high-speed bus lanes and introducing a grid system for improved wait times.
Supporters say the upgrades will cut down average wait time for a bus to less than 15 minutes.
In the most disputed part of the plan, the PSTA would begin construction of 24 miles of light rail between St. Petersburg and Clearwater Beach.
Greenlight plan opponents — headed by No Tax for Tracks – also raised $1,465 during the same two-week period, for a total of $38,466. The group received nearly $1,100 in-kind donations from Richard L. Canary of Clearwater for sign printing.