If 1 percent sales tax passes in Seminole, Sanford will get biggest chunk

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CENTRAL FLORIDA - Channel 9 found out how much money each Seminole County city would get if county voters pass a 1 percent sales tax!

Residents are being asked to renew the tax in a special election in May.  The money generated from the tax would then pay for projects such as the Riverwalk in Sanford.

The plan is to extend the trail from in front of Central Florida Hospital down to Interstate 4, which will cost about $7 million.

It may be tough trying to convince voters from all across the county to pay for isolated projects like that one.

With a unanimous vote, commissioners agreed that they will ask voters to bump the sales tax from 6 to 7 percent.

That's another dollar on every $100 people spend while out in Seminole County.

Leaders said it will give them $60 million a year for better roads and storm water projects.

"Everybody pays a sales tax. Property owners pay the ad valorem tax. This burden should not be on the backs of the property owners to maintain our community," said Seminole County Commissioner Brenda Carey.

But Channel 9 found just a fraction of the new tax will go toward city projects.

The seven cities will split only about 18 percent, which is about $10 million of the $60 million.

Of that, Sanford will get the most because it has the most people, and Longwood would get the least.

Critics said it's going to take a lot to get voters on board.

"Bottom line, we don't know what's in this. It's a very expensive tax. A penny tax means million and millions of dollars. This is a very expensive tax when at a time when people are still struggling," said former Seminole County Commissioner Grant Maloy.

Possible major projects that taxpayers would pay for: Widening the main five-way intersection in downtown Oviedo and improving State Road 434 and State Road 427 in Longwood, next to SunRail.

Seminole County schools will get a huge chunk of the tax: 25 percent of the revenue generated every year.

District headquarters officials told WFTV they have no definite plans on how they would use that extra cash. They plan to bring it up at Tuesday night's school board meeting.

The county commission will hold a public hearing early next month.