Sales Tax Continuation Referendum
At their June 17, 2014 meeting, the Highlands County Board of County Commissioners officially approved placing a referendum on the August Primary election ballot regarding the continuation of the Local Government Infrastructure Surtax.
The one-cent infrastructure sales tax program is a funding mechanism for infrastructure needs within Highlands County approved by voters in August of 1989 and initially levied for a period of 15 years. In 1999 Highlands County voters approved the 15 year extension of the one-penny sales tax.The ballot language that will appear on the August 26, 2014 ballot is as follows:
CONTINUATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
INFRASTRUCTURE SURTAX Sec. 212.055(2) F.S.
Shall the County Commissioners of Highlands County continue to levy a one-cent sales tax for Local Government Projects such as the following for a term of fifteen years commencing January 1, 2019:
Road System upgrade and expansion
Parks and recreation
Lake and waterway improvements
Governmental facilities upgrade, expansion, construction, and acquisition
Municipal improvement projects
Governmental vehicles and equipment
_______FOR the one-cent sales tax
_______AGAINST the one-cent sales tax
Since its inception in 1989 through September 30, 2013, Highlands County has appropriated $178.6 million for infrastructure funded projects. Additionally, the County Commission has committed to funding another $57.3 million in projects through the year 2019. It is anticipated that the current extended levy tax will generate approximately $235.9 million over its thirty-year life. The funds are and will be used for capital improvement projects throughout Highlands County, including the City of Avon Park, Sebring and Town of Lake Placid in the following areas: transportation, parks and recreation, lake and waterway improvements, government facilities, municipal improvement projects, vehicles and equipment.