Marion County extends penny sales tax to pay for public safety, infrastructure

County commissioners say 30% of revenue comes from Marion County visitors

Voters have spoken and the penny sales tax in Marion County will be extended another four years.

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Voters have spoken and the penny sales tax in Marion County will be extended another four years.

Marion County Commissioners want residents to know that the revenue from the penny sales tax does not go towards any county employee salaries or recurring project costs.

The penny sales tax is expected to generate $196 million in the next four years. The money going towards public safety and infrastructure improvements.

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“I’ve served on the Board of County Commissioners since 2010 and through the great recession [2008] we got behind on a lot of our public safety and transportation capital and infrastructure needs, so that [penny sales tax] was how we were able to catch up on what we got behind. We are also accommodating the tremendous amount of growth Marion County is seeing,” said Chairman Kathy Bryant.

Commissioners worked with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, fire and rescue representatives, the county engineer and other community leaders on approving and prioritizing how the penny sales tax will be spent. $19 million will be put into building new fire and EMS stations. More than $8 million will go towards jail improvements. $32 million will be used to add lanes to Northwest 80th and 70th Avenue to enhance traffic control in the growing area. You can see the full list of projects by clicking here.

Bryant said the penny tax takes some of the burden off residents. She said 30% of the revenue comes from people who travel through the county.

“Without that penny we would have to either cut services or raise property taxes,” said Bryant.

She also said commissioners reevaluate the allocation of the penny sales tax revenue every year.

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.