2001 Referendum


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How or where did the idea originate for a 2001 Referendum 1-Cent Sales Tax?

During calendar Year 2000 a number of community groups recognized that the 1991 Sales Tax Program would be ending in 2001. The question naturally arose as to whether there were still substantial transportation or other public needs which merited consideration for placement before the voters in a referendum for a re-levy.

This question was particularly taken up in the leadership forum of Seminole Vision, who established a Working Group to see if a consensus answer could be reached.

The members of the Seminole Vision Working Group are the Mayors and Managers of our seven cities, the County Commission Chairman and County Manager, and the School Board Chairman and School Superintendent. Frequently the Group's meetings were attended by representatives of our various Chambers of Commerce who are also part of the larger Seminole Vision membership.

The Working Group's recommendations were:

  • That a 2001 Referendum 1-Cent Sales Tax would significantly contribute to resolving the community's needs for capital improvements in the areas of transportation and education;

  • That the County Commission should consider placing the option for another 10-Year 1-Cent Local Sales Tax on a referendum for voter decision (with ? to education and ? for transportation); and

  • That coordinated oversight for a 10-year, half-billion dollar initiative needed to be assured and that the County should undertake to fill that role.

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How did the distribution of the new sales tax between 2 purposes and among 9 entities evolve?

While each entity can identify potential projects greater than their projected share of funds, all of the representatives seem to have recognized that prioritization and cooperation in a sound, well-balanced program are critical to validity with the public.

The "Primary" split of revenues between Education (1/4 of 1-Cent) and Transportation (3/4 of 1-Cent) was a balancing of needs so as to provide substantial progress for both purposes.

The "Secondary" split to devote ? of the transportation portion to the major network and to share the other ? between the County and Cities for more varied transportation needs, represented a consensus across the diverse perspectives of public leaders in Seminole County.

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