Orange County mayor relaunches initiative for 1% sales tax hike for transportation improvements

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Would you vote to pay more in sales tax if it meant you had to deal with less traffic? That’s the question Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is once again posing to everyone in the county.


He’s promising major improvements for transportation but only if voters decide to raise the county’s sales tax from 6.5% to 7.5%.

If voters approve the increase, their tax dollars could be spent on expanding Lynx and SunRail, as well as repairs to roads and sidewalk improvements to boost public safety.

Demings is relaunching an initiative for a 1% sales tax hike to pay for transportation improvements.

The proposal would inject $600 million into funding a mass transit overhaul to help keep up with the growing population.

READ: Orange County’s newest sales pitch: higher taxes, more transit

The county is teasing a doubling of the Lynx system, night and weekend SunRail service and an east-west expansion, as well as $330 million per year for road, bike and pedestrian safety projects.

“We want to be able to tell people it’s not gonna be the same thing. It’s not going to be just more pavement,” Demings said.

The tax will apply to the first $5,000 of any purchase, excluding food, medication and utilities.

Commissioners will vote in late April on whether to put this on the November ballot.

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The county said it would reveal the specific projects the funds would cover in three weeks.

The list will also be out before commissioners decide whether to put this on the ballot.

There will be an open house meeting on Tuesday night. It will be held at Wekiva High School’s cafeteria from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

READ: Busy Orange County intersection could get overhaul, some concerned over new route

There is another meeting scheduled for Wednesday at Barnett Park Recreation Center. That meeting is also scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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