St Lucie County Half -Cent Sales Tax for
New and Improved Roads, More Sidewalks and Cleaner Rivers
UPDATE – SALES TAX INITIATIVE PASSED AND COUNTY AND CITIES ARE MAKING IMPROVEMENTS TO VARIOUS INFRASTRUCTURE THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY. MAJOR IMPROVEMENT STARTING IN EARLY 2020 IS THE WIDENING AND IMPROVEMENT OF FLORESTA RD.
Staff from the St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners, the City of Fort Pierce and the City of Port St. Lucie have worked together to create an educational website to inform voters about the proposed half-cent sales tax that will be item No. 14 on the November election ballot.
The websites feature an interactive map that shows the projects that this additional revenue will fund; as well as Frequently Asked Questions and the official ballot language.
If approved, the ballot measure will generate roughly $18.6 million annually over a 10 year period with every dollar being spent on projects in St. Lucie County, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce and St. Lucie Village.
These funds can only be used for capital projects that provide better roads, more sidewalks and cleaner rivers.
All expenditures will be overseen by an independent citizens committee to ensure that every dollar is spent right here in our community. Because of the previous years of declining property values, local governments have had to postpone maintenance projects such as repaving, sidewalks and stormwater improvements creating a backlog in the billions.
A half-cent sales tax increase is estimated to generate $18.6 million annually with 15 to 20 percent of the revenue generated by visitors from outside of St. Lucie County. Based on St Lucie County’s total population of 300,000, that would be about $60 / year additional per resident, but with the 15-20% that would be generated by visitors, that would be more like $50 / St Lucie County resident / year.
The half-cent sales tax, if approved, will bring the value to 7 percent – the same as Brevard, Indian River and Palm Beach counties.
- The 1/2 sales tax will not apply to purchases of gas, groceries, or medicine.
- For large expenses such as automobile or boat purchases, the tax would only be applied to the first $5,000 of the purchase.
There are four layers of protection to ensure the money is spent as approved:
• Local citizen oversight committee;
• Florida law ensures the money can only be used for project areas listed on the ballot;
• Local ordinances will clearly define where the money will go;
• Locally elected officials, not state and federal, will be making these decisions.