Orange County, Fla., voters to decide on transportation tax

May 12, 2022

Keith Goble

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Voters in Orange County, Fla., will decide this fall whether to tax themselves to benefit transportation work.

Orange County commissioners recently voted to put a question on the Nov. 8 ballot to add a penny to the county’s sales tax. The largest county in central Florida now collects a 6.5% sales tax.

Commissioners voted 4-3 to ask voters whether to increase the tax rate to 7.5% to improve public transportation in the county that includes the city of Orlando.

A penny sales tax would raise about $600 million annually.

The additional tax would not be collected on essential food items, such as bread and milk. Prescription drugs and utilities also would be exempt.

The money would be applied to upgrade bus, train, and road transportation throughout the county.

Specifically, transit would receive 45% of funds. Another 45% would be directed to the county for local roads, bicycle and pedestrian lanes. The county’s 13 municipalities would divvy up the other 10% for roads.

An 11-member independent citizen’s oversight committee would be tasked with making the projects more transparent.

Advocates say the 1-cent sales tax would help solve transportation problems resulting from population growth.

Additionally, they say the transportation tax would free up about $100 million in the current budget. LL

More Land Line coverage of news from Florida.

 

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.