Brevard voters overwhelmingly pass Indian River Lagoon Tax

1/2 cent increase to sales tax will raise $300M over 10 years

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Brevard County voters overwhelmingly said "yes" Tuesday to paying themselves for cleaning up the badly polluted Indian River Lagoon.

Sixty-two percent of voters backed the 10-year, $300 million tax plan that will raise the sales tax a half-penny.

County commissioners who supported the tax plan were thrilled speaking with News 6 following the final vote tally.

"Now, we have a means where we can actually do some steady, sustained work and run some big projects and we can get things moving in the right direction," Commission Chairman Jim Barfield said. "It's going to take time but at least now we have a funding source and we can really, really turn this thing around. I fully believe that."

The sales tax increase will go in effect New Year's Day and will cost Brevard residents a little more than $60 per year. 

Much of the $300 million will go toward muck removal.

Voters opposed to the tax told News 6 Tuesday they wanted the county to cleanup the lagoon but by finding the money somewhere else.

"We can't afford anymore taxes," one voter who wanted to remain anonymous told News 6 at the Supervisor of Elections Office in Palm Bay.

"Right now, it's hurting my pocket," Lisa Jimenez, another voter opposed to the tax told News 6.

Commissioner Barfield said he understands the concerns of voters who were opposed to raising the tax, but he says the tax plan is the best option to clean up the lagoon.

"I don't want more taxes, but we know we have to control our own destiny and I think everybody understands that."


About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.