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Sierra Club says Sandy Murman’s new transportation plan is “a great step forward”

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Later on Thursday, the Hillsborough County Policy Leadership Group is scheduled to meet to discuss the possibilities of how to pay for a transportation plan, with one of the options being raising no additional funds.

On Wednesday afternoon, Hillsborough County Commission Chairwoman Sandy Murman floated a plan that would utilize a variety of sources to pay for transportation improvements, all without using any sales taxes.

Her plans includes using mobility fees, raising the gas tax, dipping into general reserves and taking from a transportation tax increment trust fund. Murman said that the latter would generate $25 million a year.

“We are very pleased that the discussion in Hillsborough County has evolved to include addressing development fees,” writes Kent Bailey, head of the Tampa Bay Sierra Club. “Commissioner Murman’s proposal is a great step forward.”

Although there were reports that the Sierra Club’s Executive Committee endorsed Murman’s plan, Bailey says that’s inaccurate. He says the Murman plan was not on the Club’s agenda, and it was not discussed or reviewed on Wednesday.

“Sierra believes that development should pay it’s own way rather than be subsidized by taxpayers, so we would hope that the goal for mobility fees would be to recover the full cost to the County of new development. So we like the direction things are going, but we would go farther,” Bailey writes in an e-mail.

The Hillsborough County Policy Leadership Group meets at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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