TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Mayor Jane Castor is proposing a $1.9 billion dollar budget for 2024, and part of her plan includes a proposed millage increase to help with deteriorating roads in Tampa.
Castor said that money would be used to fix potholes, and would cost the average household about $20 per month.
Bowman Heights residents are no strangers to potholes.
“This road right behind you has never been fixed, has never been touched, and there’s a lot of potholes around this neighborhood,” resident Franklin Ramirez said.
It’s so bad that Ramirez’s car tire once fell off.
“The road needs to be fixed,” he said. “The City of Tampa needs to put in work to fix the roads.”
The millage rate proposal is 7.2076, the first increase in decades.
“I know it’s a bold move,” Castor said. “I don’t do this lightly. I understand that many people in our community that are struggling with the rising insurance rates, the rising rates of homes, and so forth, but if we don’t do this today, these roads aren’t going to be in any better condition and are only going to deteriorate.”
Officials said 40% of roads in the city are either in poor or failing condition. The city said the primary funding source for paving roads has traditionally been the federal gas tax, which is a stagnant funding source that has not been increased at the federal level in over 30 years.
Castor said with city’s current funding, they can address 30 projects, but the millage increase would triple that.
“We need to make these bold decisions now, so that we can continue to successfully grow here in the City of Tampa,” Castor said.
The community can voice their opinions at a workshop scheduled from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 23 at the Tampa Police Athletic League. City Council will vote on the proposed budget in September, and the city’s budget year starts Oct. 1.