Orange County pushing for 1-cent sales tax increase for transportation projects

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings wants to increase the county's sales tax by a penny to pay for transportation initiatives. Officials are trying to push this with a series of informational open houses. 

County officials are holding open houses all month long including on Tuesday night to try to sell the transportation tax. They are also asking people in Orange County for feedback. You can take the survey HERE.

Mayor Demings first brought up raising the sales tax by 1-cent to pay for transportation projects in 2019 but was dropped because of the pandemic. He says that 51-percent of the tax would be paid by tourists because the increase would cover the first $5,000 of every purchase made except for food, prescriptions and other medical supplies and utilities.

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At the open houses, the mayor says the roads will be over capacity because of population growth in a decade or so. He says the penny sales tax will develop mass transit, expanding Lynx and SunRail lines and adding bike and pedestrian lanes. The county's sales tax is currently 6.5-percent, which is lower than the state's cap of 8.5-percent. 

Tuesday's open house is at 6:30 p.m. at Wekiva High School in Apopka. Wednesday there is one at Barnett Park.

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