Election 2022: Important voter referendum decisions on both sides of Tampa Bay

On both sides of Tampa Bay, important voter referendums this election cycle may shape future growth and development.

Hillsborough County transportation tax

The Hillsborough County one-cent sales tax for transportation is currently on the ballot as the county government appeals a judge’s decision to invalidate the measure because of misleading ballot language. 

If the 30-year tax is approved and survives legal challenges, it is projected to raise approximately $342 million in its first year. Forty-five percent of the revenue would go to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) to pump money into a historically underfunded public transit system and serve as a local match for federal and state grants.

Also, 54.5 percent would be divided between Hillsborough County, the City of Tampa, Temple Terrace and Plant City based on population to go toward road maintenance and repair, congestion relief, safety improvements and bicycle and pedestrian projects.

In 2018, Hillsborough voters passed a transportation tax. But that tax was invalidated for improperly taking away the County Commission’s authority over budget decisions in a case that went all the way up to the Florida Supreme Court.

St. Petersburg vote on Dali expansion

St. Petersburg voters will decide whether to add more city-owned land to the area that the Dali Museum leases from the city under a 99-year agreement. If approved, that land would be part of an ambitious expansion plan for the museum.

Downtown Clearwater bluff redevelopment

Clearwater voters will decide whether to authorize the sale of two city-owned properties on the bluff overlooking the downtown waterfront for private development. If approved, the measure would allow for a $400 million mixed-use redevelopment project from New York’s Gotham Organization and The DeNunzio Group out of Palm Harbor to proceed.

The referendum includes a series of conditions the city has put on the use of the land through a 30-year development agreement, including requirements for retail shops and restaurants open to the general public and apartments for rent to the general public.

Largo sports complex

In Largo, voters will decide whether to sell approximately 87 acres of city-owned land located north of Eighth Avenue Southeast and south of East Bay Drive to private developer Porter Development to pursue the future development of a privately-owned and operated sports complex. 

The land includes the site of a former landfill located behind the Largo Public Library and property adjacent to the Largo Central Park Nature Preserve.

For more information on early voting schedules and voting on election day got to Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections and Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections.
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Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.