Volusia County's sales tax push hits speed bump

DeLAND, Fla. — Volusia County's proposed sales tax hit a bump in the road Monday.

City officials said they're concerned about the tax and are asking the county to delay its vote to put it on the ballot, which was scheduled for Tuesday.

Officials blamed an already bloated ballot, audit requirements and misinformation from news media.

But delaying the sales tax means city officials would have to find other ways to pay for infrastructure repairs, such as those needed to be made to Daytona Beach's Caroline Street, which constantly floods and has cracked pavement.

Daytona Beach said the tax would generate the city $3.7 million annually.

The county's push for a half-cent sales tax has met some hefty resistance.

"We have worked hard, but that's not going down the tubes," Volusia County Council Chair Ed Kelley said.

Officials from Volusia County's 16 municipalities voiced their concerns about the sales tax during a meeting Monday.

They've asked the county to postpone putting it on the November ballot despite all 16 municipalities passing a resolution last month to do so.

Kelley reluctantly agreed to do so, saying he asked county representatives to take no action on the sales tax agenda item Tuesday.

"The losers are the residents of our county," he said. "They are still going to be sitting in traffic jams. They are going to be faced with flooding issues that can't be corrected."

Cities had already begun compiling their list of projects that the sales tax would have funded.

The city of Ormond Beach wants to spend $28 million to extend Hand Avenue across Interstate 95 to deal with growing congestion on West Granada Boulevard.

Volusia County's ballot is already two pages long without the proposed sales tax. Some have suggested holding a special election. Should the county decide to do so, it could cost $500,000.