Adams and Reese attorney Jim Dickson, in the firm’s St. Petersburg office, was interviewed by the Tampa Bay Times in an article, “Pinellas likely to vote on sales tax for rail and bus service,” published January 24th on the newspaper’s web site.
A sales tax increase to fund expanded bus service and light rail in Pinellas County seems destined for the November 2014 ballot, and the county's transportation agency unanimously voted to ask the Pinellas County Commission to put the question to voters on Nov. 4, 2014.
Dickson, who serves as co-chair of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce's transportation committee, said, “We are not opposed to a good idea even if it may cost more … Bottleneck and gridlock are not efficient and cost effective. It is not good for business, it's not good for our tourism industry, and it certainly is not good for our environment.”
Of the seven commissioners, five already have said they will support putting the referendum on the ballot. The vote came after nearly three hours of public comment and discussion among the agency's 15 members.
The board has long discussed proposing a one-cent sales tax increase, which would raise the sales tax from seven to eight cents and generate about $120 million for the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority. It would replace the property tax that currently brings in $32 million in transit funding a year. Supporters said the sales tax increase is needed to pay for more bus routes and more frequent stops. Without it, PSTA executive director Brad Miller said, the agency will have to make deep cuts to busing. By 2015, he said, the agency will have an $8 million budget gap. And by 2016, he may have to cut bus service by 30 percent.
Adams and Reese is a multidisciplinary law firm with offices strategically located throughout the southern United States and Washington, DC. American Lawyer includes Adams and Reese on its distinguished list of the nation's top law firms - "The Am Law 200.” The National Law Journal also includes the firm on the "NLJ 250" list of the nation's largest law firms.