A 1 percent sales tax increase will appear on a special election ballot in less than two months, and many residents still have questions about the proposal.
Osceola County officials say they’re here to answer them.
In the weeks ahead, transportation staff will host a series of workshops and town hall meetings to field questions and concerns from residents regarding a proposed transportation tax. Groups and organizations can also request their own presentation by calling the county.
The first town hall meeting will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Osceola County Extension Services, located at 1921 Kissimmee Valley Lane. There’s also a meeting scheduled at 6 p.m. April 22 in the Narcoossee Road Community Center.
Monday meetings are set for April 8 and 15 in the Osceola County Administration Building on the fourth floor from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Officials are in the process of scheduling other town hall meetings in places like Celebration and Poinciana, according to Osceola County Transportation Director Tawny Olore.
Flyers will also be sent out in KUA and Toho Water bills and reminders will be pushed out on the county’s social media platforms.
“We want people to understand why this is being put forward, the importance of it and how it could really help shape the future, one way or another, for Osceola County,” said County Commission Chairwoman Cheryl Grieb at a meeting Monday.
According to county officials, Osceola has more than $1.1 billion in backlogged roadwork. Big price tags are also attached to sidewalk, bike path and pedestrian trail construction.
The 1 percent transportation surtax will generate an estimated $67 million annually over its 30-year lifespan, according to the county, and will help pay for these and other related projects, like streamlining intersections and improving bus routes.
The county voted in February to host a special election for the sales tax proposal May 21.
Volusia County residents will also cast ballots on the same day for their own half-penny increase for transportation and infrastructure projects.
Osceola County’s ballot will have a single question: “Should transportation facilities and services be funded throughout Osceola County, including projects that improve roads and bridges, expand public transit options, fix potholes, enhance bus services, relieve rush hour bottlenecks, improve intersections, and make walking and biking safer by levying a one-cent sales surtax for 30 years?”
The last day to register to vote for the special election is April 22.
Mail-in ballots will begin arriving around that time as well. Early voting will be from May 13-19. For more information on voter registration, voting locations, early voting or voting by mail, contact the Osceola County Supervisor of Elections at www.voteosceola.com or 407-742-6000.
To request a community presentation on the sales tax proposal, call 407-