New sales tax boosts 2017 county budget

Santa Rosa County will be $5.1 million richer in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, but not at the expense of property owners.

That’s because of the half-penny sales tax to pay for various infrastructure improvements that was approved by county voters on Aug. 30.

Although the new tax is expected to bring in about $7 million annually during its five-year tenure, only about 75 percent of that amount is reflected in Santa Rosa’s tentative budget for the next fiscal year.

“It’s 75 percent because the tax doesn’t actually start until January,” explained Jayne Bell, director of the county’s Office of Management and Budget. In the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2017, a more precise estimate of the sales tax annual revenue should be available—based on collections during its first nine months.

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