Posted by: Tampa Bay Chamber on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Hillsborough County voted "Yes" Tuesday on investing in our transportation and education needs. The transportation referendum passed with 57.27% of the votes, with 281,632 people voting "Yes." The education referendum passed with 56.35%, with 275,924 people voting “Yes.”

“After vetting both initiatives, our members had the opportunity to learn the pressing transportation and education needs in our community,” said Steve Bernstein, Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce Chair. “Support was unanimous from our board and I am proud to be a part of an organization that was swift but deliberate in backing both of these historic investments.”

The transportation plan increases Hillsborough County sales tax one percent and will raise about $280 million a year, or $9 billion over its 30-year life. The education plan increases sales tax one half percent to fund public school workforce development improvements including air conditioning repairs in public schools.

“These investments are critical for Tampa’s ability to compete nationally and globally,” said Bob Rohrlack, President and CEO of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. “However, our work is just beginning. It’s incumbent on us to ensure that these new dollars are invested wisely.”

The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce voted unanimously to support the transportation referendum because it gave our community the right to decide to invest in our transportation future, and it’s clear our community wants to do just that. We will continue to be supportive of efforts to expand local private and public revenue sources dedicated to transportation and expanding transit services and options for Tampa Bay. We believe our work on transportation has increased.  The public trust on this issue is important and the investment must produce tangible results.  We look forward to working with decision makers for the best end-product for a better community.

The Greater Tampa Chamber also voted unanimously to support the education referendum because it aligns with our guiding principles on workforce development, and we are committed to partnering with stakeholders and policy makers to advocate for adequate resources to help recruit, develop, and retain talent in Hillsborough County. We’re proud that the community also understands the importance of investing in our children’s future. We believe this investment in education is an investment in our future.  We are committed to working with our education leaders to implement this investment for significant improvement to our schools.