Florida Supreme Court to hear arguments for transportation tax

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Those who support and oppose the All for Transportation tax will have their day in court Wednesday.

The All for Transportation tax is a citizen-driven effort that applies a one-cent sales tax in Hillsborough County to improve roads and transportation throughout the county. More than 280,000 Hillsborough county residents voted for the tax in November of 2018.

“This is the first time we think in Florida history that citizens have ever themselves initiated a tax increase to pay for transportation this way,” Tyler Hudson, Co-Founder of All for Transportation said. “Governments can put them on the ballot there’s no question about that, but we think this is the first time a citizens group has ever done that.”

In June of 2018, County Commissioner Stacy White and resident Bob Emerson asked the court to remove the tax. White said imposing this kind of tax is illegal, so he filed a lawsuit.

The case is now the Florida Supreme Court’s hands. However, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money are still being collected.

According to Hudson, the county began collecting the sales tax on Jan. 1, 2019 to prepare for construction on several projects starting Jan. 1, 2020. Hudson said more than $200 million is currently sitting in a trust account until the court makes their ruling.

“The law is the law I mean this tax is valid right now it’s being collected and I think it should spent and we hope the government moves quickly once a decision comes out to get this money where it belongs which is in the roads and in the streets of the city,” Hudson said.

On Wednesday at 9 a.m., the Florida Supreme Court will hear 40 minutes of oral arguments in Tallahassee. White’s attorney will get 20 minutes and All for Transportation’s attorney will get 20 minutes.

According to Hudson, the court could take weeks to make their ruling. That ruling will also spell out how the county should handle the funds that have been and are being collected from the penny sales tax.

8 On Your Side reached out to White for comment, but hasn’t heard back.

The hearing will also be streamed live on Gavel to Gavel , the Florida Supreme Court’s Facebook p[ageand the Florida Channel website.  

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