Entire Orange County Commission should be held accountable for push to raise sales tax

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings held a press availability earlier this week, in part to promote a sales tax hike he wants voters to approve next year for transportation projects (story HERE).

For the Mayor, who was just elected last year and doesn’t appear on the ballot again until 2022, the decision to pass the costs to the taxpayer for projects he can later champion is an easy one. The tax increase will be old news a few months after it passes.

But for the rest of the Board of Orange County Commissioners, the fault of a tax increase falls on them as well.

And residents won’t forget. Especially, next year.

The Mayor rode Sunrail for visuals on his availability and has held town halls around the county to promote his idea with commissioners sitting right next to him. During these town halls there has been some objections to his proposal but he continues to campaign for the tax hike.

For the good fiscal health of the county, residents shouldn’t just continue to object to a tax increase to the Mayor but should call their district commissioners as well. They should let them know that their support for an increase could effect the decision voters make when it’s their time to campaign for reelection.

And a question for those commissioners from me.

Why are you putting your name on a tax hike that will go towards improvements that won’t always serve your own constituents? That’s not right.

While the Mayor and County Commissioners stump for a tax increase, on the other side they continue to give millions to companies like Universal (story HERE) and to millions more to agencies like VISIT Orlando, who turn around and try to sell the concept of a tax increase back to the voters with data they give to the county (story HERE).

All for a tax increase that doesn’t guarantee it’s revenues won’t go to improve transportation improvements in Osceola and Seminole Counties as well.

We can’t allow ourselves to be influenced by a campaigning Mayor and when the TV commercials start, they shouldn’t swing attention away from the fact that they want your money while they spend recklessly elsewhere.

And that falls on all six county commissioners, not just the Mayor.

Don’t let them forget it.

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