Referendums on the Ballot. Vote to Make Your Voice Heard

Op Ed by Carmine Miranda

We’ve been hearing about the One Cent Surtax referendum since October 2021 leading up to the anticipation of the November 8, 2022 elections.

Well here we are, the day early voting begins! Hopefully county residents have attended the many County, City and Chamber events / workshops and have read pamphlet materials to understand the importance placed on this referendum by the County, City of North Port and residents.

This is not a new tax. The first Surtax was approved in 1989. It is not to be used for daily operating expenses. It is to be used for Capital Improvement Projects such as Infrastructure, Road & Drainage, Police and Fire protective equipment, Fire and Police stations, libraries and parks.

Over the next l5 years it is projected that the city of North Port will receive more than $300 million in revenue from the one-cent surtax. Visitors to the County / City contribute approximately 20-25% of the Surtax dollars collected.

As a taxpayer myself, I appreciate the additional dollars from visitors! We recently experienced one of the worst Hurricanes to hit Florida. We learned about the resilience of North Port residents and our City. We also learned that Price Boulevard, while needing to be widened, requires re-engineering of its roadway due to several sections collapsing under the intense water pressure passing under the roadway.

The City of North Port has proposed a referendum for residents to vote for issuance of a One-Cent Sales Tax Bond. This Bond is dependent on passage of the County Referendum to extend the One-Cent Sales Tax. Monies from the One-Cent Sales Tax will be applied to pay down the bond debt.

There are Two referendums (Taken from The Official Sample Ballot) to consider listed here: 1. County Referendum to continue funding for local improvements through renewal of one-cent sales tax; maintains citizen oversight committees. To improve public safety, protect water quality and the environment, reduce traffic congestion and fund projects relating to local schools, parks, libraries and other community needs, should the current one-cent sales tax, paid by visitors and residents, be continued through December 31, 2039. The Citizen Tax Oversight Committees will continue to oversee all expenditures and a 4/5ths vote of the County Commission is required to modify county projects or allocations.

2. North Port City Referendum to Finance Price Boulevard Widening Project through Issuance of Voter-Approved One-Cent Sales Tax Bonds. To finance the Price Boulevard widening project, shall the City of North Port be authorized to issue bonds in one or more series payable from one-cent sales tax proceeds on a total aggregate principal amount not to exceed eighty million dollars, maturing by December 31, 2039 bearing interest not exceeding the maximum lawful rate?

Bonds are dependent on approval of one-cent sales tax renewal above.
Your vote is your voice so please come out and VOTE !

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