Hillsborough Commissioners still torn on transit tax ballot language

03/11/10 Kate Bradshaw
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The Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners deadlocked today on a a vote that would have adopted ballot language for November’s penny transit tax referendum.

For the commissioners who want to see the one-cent tax on the ballot, the issue was what the referendum’s wording should be. They debated whether to indicate that 75% of the money the tax would generate would go to mass transit, while the remaining 25% would go to rail. Commissioners Rose Ferlita, Ken Hagan, and Jim Norman voted down a motion to accept ballot language that would not include that ratio. Commissioner Ferlita said that she was fine with the numbers, but unhappy with the overall wording. Commissioner Norman, who has consistently railed against the tax, said that the ballot initiative will fail.

Another key issue at the meeting was conductivity. Commissioner Ferlita and others say they want to be sure the system will be able to connect communities throughout Hillsborough, and eventually to systems in other counties.

The board will take up the issue of ballot language, as well as the prospective road projects and an interlocal agreement, at next Wednesday’s regular board meeting.

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