Orange County Board of County Commissioners has approved sending a 1% transportation sales tax to residents on the November ballot. The sales tax increase is proposed by Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and will increase funding for transportation initiatives in the county. The current sales tax rate in Orange County is 6.5%, compared to Osceola and Seminole Counties who have a 7.5% sales tax and Lake County with a 6% rate. The increased sales tax proposal also comes after Orange County recently restored development transportation fees to 100% after new development received a significant discount for 9 years.
The estimated tax generated by the tax would be $600 million per year, with tourists paying approximately 51% of the funds generated. Orange County also imposes a 6% Tourist Development Tax on hotel stays, but those funds are unable to be used for transportation initiatives.
In general, the additional funds raised in the transportation sales tax will be used for:
- Improving county roadways and intersections
- Improving traffic signal technology
- Expanding LYNX bus service and SunRail commuter rail service
- Improving pedestrian safety
- Adding more bike lanes and bike safety improvements
- Adding street lighting and sidewalks
- Providing transportation funding to municipal governments in Orange County.
Funding for the tax would go to 45% County, 45% Lynx & Sunrail, and 10% to municipalities. Funds generated by the tax would go through a review process with a Technical Committee as well as a Citizens Oversight Committee.
Commissioner Nicole Wilson voted in favor of the transportation sales tax increase and has also voiced support for HB 6075, which would allow for expanded use of tourist development taxes.
More information on the Transportation Sales Tax can be found at orangecountyfl.net.
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