Second lawsuit filed against transportation sales tax initiative in Hillsborough County, Florida

Residents of Hillsborough County, Florida, approved a citizen initiative in November that implemented a 1 percent sales tax to fund road and transportation projects. Referendum 2, the initiative backed by local group All for Transportation, received 57 percent approval. Following its passage, County Commissioner Stacy White filed a lawsuit in December calling for the sales tax to be overturned. On March 8, 2019, a county resident, filed a second lawsuit calling for Referendum 2 to be overturned.

John Cimino filed a class-action lawsuit in Hillsborough County circuit court, echoing the argument in Stacy White’s complaint that the referendum violated state law. Both Cimino and White stated that Referendum 2 is unlawful because it prevents the county commission from voting on how funds from the new sales tax are allocated. Cimino’s suit is intended to represent other county residents who have paid the 1 percent sales tax on purchases in 2019. In the complaint, Cimino calls upon the court to issue an injunction to stop the collection of the tax and to refund taxpayers.