Alison Foxall appointed to Sarasota County’s Citizen Tax Oversight Committee

Libertarian was candidate for Florida House 72 seat in special election this year

Alison Foxall. Image from the Libertarian Party website in October 2017

The Libertarian candidate who lost a bid for the Florida House 72 seat during a February special election has become the newest member of Sarasota County’s Citizen Tax Oversight Committee.

Alison Foxall won the appointment as part of the County Commission’s unanimous April 24 vote to approve its Consent Agenda of routine business items. No member of the commission offered a comment on the appointment before the vote.

She will serve on the county advisory council through September 2021. An April 24 staff memo provided to the commission says Foxall will be taking the place of Steve Welkos, whose term had expired.

Foxall faced Democrat Margaret Good — the eventual winner — and Republican James Buchanan in the race for the House seat from which Sarasota business owner Alex Miller resigned late last summer.

In her application, Foxall noted that she works in marketing for Gobble Logic in Sarasota. She learned about the vacancy on the committee from a friend, she added.

In response to the application question, “Why do you want to serve on this advisory council?” she wrote, “I will offer an analytical and detailed analysis, something that Sarasota desperately needs.”

According to the Applicant Appointment Worksheetincluded in the commission’s packet for the April 24 meeting, Foxall was the only person to apply for the District 1 vacancy; she submitted her paperwork on March 2.

The committee’s purpose, a county webpage says, is to ensure “the infrastructure surtax project process is fair, open and fully disclosed and that money is allocated appropriately.”

Since 1989, voters have approved the 1-cent sales tax, with proceeds going to a number of capital improvement projects throughout the county. On Nov. 4, 1997, voters approved the continuation of the original tax for an extra 10 years, beginning Sept. 1, 1999. That subsequent tax is referred to as “Sales Tax II.”

The most recent referendum on the sales tax was conducted on Nov. 6, 2007, when voters approved continuation of the levy from Sept. 1, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2024.

The Citizen Tax Oversight Committee must “conduct an annual review of the expenditures made by the [County Commission] from the Sales Tax II proceeds and review any changes made by the [commission] to the infrastructure projects or to the allocation of the Sales Tax II proceeds for the sole purpose of ensuring that all procedural requirements had been followed.”

Each year, the County Commission approves an updated Capital Improvement Program list of projects funded by the sales tax revenue. That list is adopted as part of the annual budget.

This chart offering details about the 2018 fiscal year Capital Improvement Program was included in materials provided to the County Commission prior to its final budget hearing for FY18, which was held on Sept. 26, 2017. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Terms on the Citizen Tax Oversight Committee are for four years. The resolution establishing the advisory group calls for nine members. One must be appointed from each of the five districts by the commissioners who represent those districts, the governing resolution points out, while the others are at-large members appointed by a majority vote of the County Commission.

Commissioner Michael Moran represents District 1.

The committee’s attendance record, which also was in the packet, says the last time the group met was on Aug. 2, 2017.