OCPS not happy with half-cent sales tax increase proposed by Commissioner Brummer

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

While it's only a proposal, the idea of a new half-cent sales tax in Orange County that would bring in $180 million a year to help fund road improvements already has the school district coming out against it.

Channel 9's Kenneth Craig was at Tuesday's Orange County Commission meeting, where Commissioner Fred Brummer said he wants to put the tax on the August ballot, the same ballot where Orange County Public Schools is asking voters to extend its own half-cent tax.

The increase would bring in $180 million a year to help fund road improvements.

OCPS has been using the voter-approved half-penny sales tax for more than a decade, which brings in $180 million a year.  Last year, leaders said it was used to help build 12 schools, but now they're concerned Brummer's similar proposal in the same election cycle could be the death of both initiatives.

"We know it's very difficult to pass two taxes at the same time," said Orange County school board member and chairman of the Orange County Communications committee Cristine Moore.

A list of $337 million in unfunded road projects is what prompted Brummer's move to put another half-penny tax before voters in August.

"We are short of funding to pay for these kinds of things," he said.

On Tuesday, several concerned school supporters showed up at the commission meeting and argued the school district has $2 billion in unfunded projects.

Channel 9 obtained a list of unfunded road projects that would be delayed if Brummer's proposal is rejected.

PDF: Unfunded Road Projects