Let your voice be heard

Hello fellow residents.

 I wanted to emphasize the importance of using your voice to be heard by voting.

On May 21, 2019, there will be a special election.  The single-subject ballot will allow voters to decide whether or not to increase the local sales tax by 1 percent for the purpose of funding transportation projects.

Some questions I have received from citizens regarding this sales tax:

  • Has the County Commission voted to increase ad valorem tax if this sales tax does not pass?

No, the Board of County Commissioners has not voted to increase the ad valorem tax.  However, there has been a commissioner that had brought up a discussion on the board expressing the possibility of increasing property tax if this sales tax does not pass. As a solution to increase transportation revenue, I encourage residents to reach out to their commissioner and voice your opinion and thoughts on potential increases of property tax. You can find the contact information for the commissioners at www.osceola.org. If this sales tax does not pass, I commit to you that I will be voting ‘No’ on increasing property taxes. If brought forward as a vote to the board, instead I would insist that our board focus on re-evaluation of our current $1.2 billion budget in detail to find potential revenue.

Does this tax also cover public transportation?

Yes, Lynx and SunRail would be allowable expenses under the proposed ballot language.   Also, road widening, improved intersections, sidewalks, bike paths, etc. The SunRail is scheduled for 2021, which means we take over costs at that time and we currently do not have funds set aside for this.

  • Can the board guarantee that the funding will go 90 percent toward roads?

No, there is no guarantee on what percentage will be going towards only roads as this referendum is written. I have expressed concerns on this during our public meeting. You are welcome to watch the meeting of Feb. 18 on www.osceola.org.

I do believe in the people’s right to make this decision. Please know that I am hopeful that many residents will come out and express their vote. You can vote early and by mail. Please log into The Supervisor of Elections website at www.VoteOsceola.com or call 407-742-6000. Also, For more information, including a list of eligible roads, please visit www.osceola.org and click on the “One-Cent for Transportation” banner (direct link:  https://www.osceola.org/one-cent-surtax-for-transportation/) or call 407-742-ROAD (407-742-7623).

And as always, please feel free to share any of your concerns, ideas or information by calling my office at 407-742-2000, or by email to Peggy.Choudhry@osceola.org