On Monday night, the Board of County Commissioners decided on a special election day (May 21, 2019) for citizens to vote on the proposed Ordinance #2019-19, levying a one cent charter county transportation sales surtax for the purpose of funding transportation facilities and services in Osceola County.
As we all know, Osceola County is one of the fasted growing counties in Florida, and with that comes transportation challenges. At last night’s County Commissioner’s Meeting the Board of County Commissioners met to discuss Ordinance #2019-19. This ordinance pertains to the levying of a one percent charter county transportation sales surtax for the purpose of funding transportation facilities and services in Osceola County. By majority vote, the Board of County Commissioners agreed to a special proposed election that will take place on May 21, 2019, where citizens will have the chance to vote on the ordinance.
“As a true believer in democracy, there is no better way to bring this forward than on a referendum ballot where the people are going to decide if this is an important issue for them.” – Chairwoman Viviana Janer
Here are some key points to how the funds will be spent from the Charter County Transportation Sales Surtax Ordinance 2019-19 is the ordinance passes:
- The proposed penny sales tax will allow the County to improve the infrastructure by improving roads and bridges, expanding public transit options, enhance bus services, and fix potholes.
- The penny sales tax will be used to help with the improvement of pedestrian and bicycle safety by expanding and enhancing the walking and biking sidewalks.
- In order to reduce the 911 response times for law enforcement and emergency vehicles such as ambulances, funds from the surtax will be used to widen roads and improve intersections.
- Decrease time stuck in traffic. This countywide plan will help with rush hour bottlenecks and help residents with their travel time, whether it’s to work, picking up a child from school, or simply driving across town.
- Quality of life will improve by improving mobility and easing congestion.
- A significant portion of the sales tax comes from Osceola County’s tourists and visitors. This ensures that they are paying their fair share and investing in local roads for future generations to come.
“There are no more serious threats to the quality of life to our citizens than our seamlessly never-ending traffic congestions. It’s become inescapable.” – Atlee Mercer.
Over 42% of the $20.6 million from 2019 Transportation Capital Budget consists of Federal and State dollars which allows Osceola County to leverage the funds to move the program forward. The Operating Budget of $36, 083,649 includes transportation planning, traffic operations, Lynx, engineering and programming, as well as road and bridge projects.
Osceola County Commissioners are giving their citizens the opportunity to make a difference in the current transportation dilemma Osceola County is facing. Whether you are pro or against this ordinance, you have the right to vote and let your voice be heard.
We encourage everyone to vote during this special election on May 21, 2019. For more information please visit https://www.osceola.org/one-cent-surtax-for-transportation/or call (407) 742- ROAD with any questions.