Orange Co. will not move forward with half-cent sales tax proposal to fund road projects

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ORLANDO, Fla. —

Orange County commissioners decided Tuesday to not move forward with a controversial proposal to raise the sales tax to help fund delayed county road projects.

Commissioner Fred Brummer's proposal was to place the half-cent tax on the November ballot for voters to decide.

Orange County needs more than $300 million in road improvements, but they won't be getting that money using Brummer's proposal, which would've asked voters if they wanted to raise the sales tax by a half-cent.  That move would have generated about $180 million a year or about $900 million over five years.

"This is about quality of life. Quality of life," said Brummer. "I sincerely believe that we are at a point where taxpayers are ready to step up."

But in order to get the proposal on the November ballot, commissioners would have to be ready to move forward by late August or September, and Mayor Teresa Jacobs repeatedly argued that was too soon.

"I don't want to see us go forward with something today that rash, that's not thought out, that won't have the voter support and may compromise the school districts," said Jacobs.

While there was a lot of concern by other commissioners about how to fund those road projects, the board ultimately decided not to move forward with any more discussion at this time.

"I've never seen anything like this where somebody suggest we do this in the next four weeks, put together a package, put it on a ballot and see how it flies," said Jacobs.

Commissioners did say they would eventually address the issue and look at ways to fund those projects.