Early voting begins in Osceola County on sales tax

Voters in Osceola County are being asked to consider whether or not to approve a one-cent sales tax increase that would be in place for the next 30 years. If approved, the sales tax would increase from 7.5 percent to 8.5 percent.

Proponents say it would bring in $67 million annually for the county and be used on transportation projects. The county is planning to use the money to build, widen and resurface local roads and improve intersections to relieve rush hour bottlenecks.

County officials said if voters approve the one-cent sales tax Osceola County would have the highest sales-tax in Florida along with Hillsborough County.

Osceola County Supervisor of Elections Mary Jane Arrington is encouraging people to vote.

“We think it’s going to be similar to a primary election. We hope around 20-25 percent turnout.”

She said they have mailed out 50,000 mail ballots.

“We’ve had a good return on our mail ballots. We’ve had about 40 percent of those that we mailed out already turned in and we still have a week to go.”

Arrington said people can request a mail ballot until five days before Election Day but she cautioned that mail ballots have to be at the Supervisor of Elections office by 7 p.m. on May 21.

“If you have a mail ballot laying around in your kitchen table you need to get it voted and get it to us. You can also drop if off at any of our drop boxes in any early voting site or any library throughout the county.”

Early polling locations are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sunday.  Election Day is May 21.  Below are polling locations for early voting:

  • Supervisor of Elections Office, at 2509 E. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, Florida 34744
  • West Osceola Branch Library (Celebration), at 305 Campus Street, Celebration,  FL 34747
  • Robert Guevara Center, at 501 Florida Parkway, Kissimmee, FL 34743
  • St. Cloud Civic Center, at 3001 17th Street, St. Cloud, FL 34769
  • Hart Memorial Central Library, at 211 E. Dakin Avenue, Kissimmee, FL 34741
  • The Gym & Aquatic Center, at 625 Country Club Drive, Poinciana, FL 34759
  • Osceola Campus- Valencia College, at 1800 Denn John Lane, Kissimmee, FL 34744a