Osceola County should vote “No” on proposed sales tax hike

On Monday, Osceola County will begin early voting in a sales tax referendum that would raise the sales tax rate from 7.5% to 8.5% over the next 30 years (story HERE).

Osceola voters should say vote “No” on this ill advised tax hike.

Osceola county has transportation needs and shortfalls, this is because of poor planning by that municipalities’ government and not carefully evaluating development over the years. They weren’t able to project their rapid growth and now they have traffic problems.

They’re looking to remedy their place of preparation by having it come out of your wallet.

While the amount seems small (it always does), it’s falling on one of the hardest hit regions as far low wages are concerned. These residents don’t need anymore cost of living increases, no matter how small they may seem.

I’ve sat through their presentation on how the tax revenue would be implemented and I believe their math is off. They say 46% of this tax will be paid by non-residents. That’s a common pitch for sales tax hikes. Yes, people come in and out of Osceola on business, but you live there. You’re still going to pay.

It’s also the kind of messaging that scares away businesses that might consider coming to the area.

They argue that many of the existing tax revenues go to Tallahassee for redistribution. That’s a problem they need to take up with the legislature. Not you. In their favor, future use of tax revenues that are allocated certain ways and are restricted for expenditures on certain needs should be debated in the coming years.

But Osceola has gone to the well before and recently, this is the second such proposed increase in less than a decade since 2010 and that’s not counting the gas tax increase by the commission of 2015. They must do better.

They’ve got bottleneck traffic problems. Well, they allowed those bottlenecks to occur. Traffic density concerns are a real thing, not just a “line” being shouted by residents during debates over development.

I’m also not alone in believing this increase is bad policy. My friends at the Orlando Sentinel also believe this is a bad idea (story HERE).

They checked the finance reports and found that it’s engineers and lobbyists paying for this campaign (story HERE).

If you approve this hike, they’ll be back. Another year, another penny. Vote no and be sure to show up. They’re counting on you not to do so.

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