Hillsborough may raise sales tax by half cent

Posted at 11:05 AM, Apr 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-27 23:11:39-04

UPDATE: Hillsborough County commissioners voted to not add the measure on the ballot that could raise sales taxes by a half cent.


Hillsborough County commissioners may vote Wednesday night to put a measure on the ballot that could raise sales taxes by a half cent.

This would raise taxes on many every day purchases, like clothing, gas, soda and some ready-to-eat food items. However, most food is not subject to sales tax.

If it's passed by voters in November, the new sales tax in Hillsborough County would be 7.5 percent. 

The sales tax increase is expected to raise $117M annually.  About 25 percent of that money would go to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. Then, 75 percent would be divided between the county and three cities based on population.

Several of the proposed projects aim to widen roads, ease congestion and add more sidewalks near schools. Improvements also include roadway enhancements and station construction to accommodate rail, bus rapid transit and water ferry routes. Express bus service could also be added.

ABC Action News looked at how much the cost of every day items would go up if the sales tax hike is approved. All of the items were purchased at a local Hillsborough County Walmart store.

For a bag of Purina Lamb and Rice dog food, right now, you pay 83 cents in sales taxes. The tax increase means you pay about 89 cents on this same bag.

Or Tide Laundry Pods. Right now, you'll pay about 32 cents in sales tax. The proposed tax hike means you pay 33 cents.

Or Charmin toilet paper. For now, you're paying about 48 cents in sales tax.The tax increase means you pay 52 cents.

The tax increase could be in effect anywhere from 10 to 30 years. Commissioners could determine the length of time the tax increase will be in effect at Wednesday night's meeting.

If passed by voters, the sales tax increase would take effect January 1, 2017.