Sunday, October 9, 2022

Breaking: All for Transportation Sales Tax Ballot Measure Violates Hillsborough County Charter

The All for Transportation (AFT) Sales Tax Ballot Measure on the Hillsborough County November ballot violates Section 8.05 of the County's Charter

Section 8.05 requires that all County referendums include a Financial Impact Statement (FIS) in the referendum's ballot summary language. The FIS is not included in the AFT sales tax ballot measure. 

Hillsborough County is governed under a County Charter, allowable by Florida State Statute 125.

In 2012 a Charter Amendment was passed by Hillsborough County voters that added Section 8.05 to the County Charter. That Charter Amendment requires a Financial Impact Statement be included in the ballot summary language of any County referendum.

Sec. 8.05. - Financial impact statement for all proposed County Charter amendments and Countywide referenda.      

For all County elections, a separate financial impact statement, not exceeding 75 words, including a two-year estimate of the increase or decrease in revenues or costs to the County resulting from approval of all proposed County Charter amendments and all other proposed Countywide referenda unrelated to a County Charter amendment, shall be prepared by the County Budget Director who shall receive input and advice from a committee to be established by Board of County Commissioners' Resolution, and placed on the ballot immediately following the ballot question.

The Financial Impact Statement (FIS) was NOT included in any information the County provided to the public at the April 20, 2022 public hearing where the public can weigh in on the proposed sales tax hike.

The required FIS was excluded from Ordinance 22-9 the 5 Democrat county commissioners (Kimberly Overman, Mariella Smith, Harry Cohen, Gwen Myers and Pat Kemp) voted to approve putting the transit tax on the November ballot. All five supported the illegal 2018 AFT sales tax ballot that was thrown out last year as unlawful and Cohen and Kemp are lawyers.....

The required FIS was NOT included in the ballot summary language of Ordinance 22-9 the 5 commissioners named above approved at the April 20, 2022 public hearing.

The Sample Ballot from the Hillsborough County SOE's website does NOT include the required referendum Financial impact Statement. Since mail ballots have started going out, the Sample Ballot on the SOE website must be the same as the mail ballots being sent out. 

Sales Tax Referendum Sample Ballot
from Hillsborough SOE website

Below is an actual November ballot received by a Hillsborough County voter.

November actual ballot does
not include required Financial Impact Statement

Below is the 2018 All for Transportation ballot language that did include a Financial Impact Statement.

This is the Sample Ballot that was posted on the Hillsborough SOE's website in 2018 that included the FIS.

2018 AFT sales tax ballot measure 
includes a Financial Impact Statement

The Hillsborough SOE uses one of the Assistant County Attorney's as their legal liaison/counsel. Why did Hillsborough County SOE Craig Latimer allow an invalid ballot measure to be placed on the ballot?

The Financial Impact Statement Charter Amendment passed in 2012 was championed by Hillsborough County citizens. They took the recommendation to the Charter Review Board at the end of 2010 who agreed to put the FIS requirement on the 2012 ballot as a Charter Amendment. 

The intent of the FIS is to provide voters some information about how much revenue the tax will collect because that information was not being provided to voters. It is similar to the Financial Impact Statement that is required for all State Amendments that are placed on the ballot. 

The FIS Charter Amendment passed because voters want this information before they vote on any county referendum. They want information about how much revenue any county referendum will raise and whether the referendum will increase or reduce County costs. 

The County failed to include a Financial Impact Statement on the All for Transportation sales tax ballot measure on the November ballot.

Commissioners Overman, Smith and Cohen are on the November ballot running for re-election. Voters should think twice about re-electing any Hillsborough county commissioner who displays a disregard of and/or a lack of understanding of the County Charter they must comply with.

The County failed to comply with their own County Charter. Such malfeasance, whether it is incompetence, negligence or intentional, cannot stand.

Bottom line, the AFT sales tax hike ballot measure on the November ballot cannot be valid.


  1. The zeal in trying to force all to pay for a rail tax that benefits just a few has blinded some into forgoing due diligence and common sense.

  2. Judge agrees! Ballot language is out while trying to steal 2nd base!