TAMPA, Fla. – An overwhelming 97% of respondents rate the level of traffic congestion they face in Hillsborough County as either “extremely congested” or “somewhat congested,” according to a transportation poll conducted by SEA Polling & Strategic Design for the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. While 88% of respondents stated improving the transportation system in Hillsborough County as either a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” priority, support for sales tax referendum ranged from 47% to 54% When the question of supporting a 0.5% sales tax increase to fund transportation was initially raised – 49% favored the increase and 46% were against it with 5% undecided. The second time the question was posed garnered the highest level of support in the survey, with 54% for, 39% against and 7% undecided. The question of support followed a series of questions related to specifics about fixing the transportation system. When asked what was most important in improving transportation - the top three answers all related to the construction of roads – widening existing roads, building new roads and repairing roads and bridges. Supporting a referendum was posed for the third time after hearing statements used by those supporting the proposal for improving the transportation system. 51% of respondents said they were likely to vote for referendum, with 40% voting against and 9% undecided. The most convincing argument stated that Hillsborough County is the size of Rhode Island, but with 30% more people and more than 500,000 expected to move here in the next 25 years. The least convincing argument stated that express buses have proven to be a cost-effective alternative to commuter rail for outlying areas. The last time the question of support for the sales tax referendum was asked received the lowest level of support, with 47% stating they were likely to vote for the referendum, 48% against and 5% undecided. The question of support was raised after hearing arguments used by those opposing the proposal. The most convincing arguments were related to the respondents’ opinions of government, including that it is unfair to ask taxpayers to “pay for the problems created by developers who have gotten off scot-free for years.” The least convincing argument was that the sales tax increase would cost the average household in Hillsborough County just over $66 per year. 400 likely voters were surveyed, with a margin of error of 4.9%. Click here for the complete survey results. The Chamber is committed to continuing our leadership role in promoting the development and funding of cost-effective regional transportation systems that will support economic development and improve the quality of life for residents. The business community is a key stakeholder in discussions related to transportation in our community and we commissioned this poll to provide objective information to help guide us as we discuss potential transportation projects and policies. For more information on the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.tampachamber.com. About the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce is committed to serving our members and enhancing our community by building business success. The Chamber provides a greater return on investment and involvement by providing innovative leadership, inside access, influential advocacy and increased opportunities.