Starting Sept. 13, public invited to offer suggestions about projects that could be funded by another extension of county’s penny sales tax, or ‘surtax’

Sessions planned through late October, with referendum scheduled during November 2022 General Election

Sarasota County signs denote projects funded by the penny sales tax — or, surtax — program. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Beginning Sept. 13, the Sarasota County Surtax Advisory Task Force will host public meetings to welcome community comments on the future of the Penny Sales Tax, or surtax, which funds public safety, transportation, school and various other projects, the county has announced.

Surtax revenue is shared locally among the Sarasota County School District, Sarasota County and the four municipalities, a news release explains. Its uses are identified through public meetings, the release points out.

More than 20% of the revenue “is tied directly to visitor and tourist spending in the community,” the release notes.

Among past projects, the Surtax has paid for roadway resurfacing, school renovations and new school construction, water quality improvements, sidewalk construction, park and athletic field improvements, library renovations and new library construction, neighborhood improvements, sewer and utility system improvements, and public safety enhancements, including fire station construction, the release says.

Public suggestions are vital in the selection of “future projects to address the needs of the community,” the release adds. Meetings are scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. for the following dates and locations, the release notes:

  • Sept. 13 — Shannon Staub Public Library, located at 4675 Career Lane in North Port.
  • Sept. 29 —Gulf Gate Public Library, located at 7112 Curtiss Ave. in Sarasota.
  • Oct. 5 — Betty J. Johnson North Sarasota Public Library, located at 2801 Newtown Blvd. in Sarasota.
  • Oct. 13 — Fruitville Public Library, located at 100 Apex Road in Sarasota.
  • Oct. 28 — William H. Jervey Jr. Venice Public Library, located at 300 Nokomis Ave. South in Venice.

The surtax first won voter approval in 1989 for a 10-year period, the release explains. Voters have extended it twice — in 1997 and 2007.

Another extension will be on the Nov. 8, 2022 General Election ballot, the release points out.

Learn more about the history of the Sarasota County Penny Tax and previous projects completed through tax revenue expenditures by visiting sarasotacountysurtax.net.

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