Jayne Bell

LOST: Are we getting what we paid for?

LOST: Are we getting what we paid for?

County commissioners plan to ask voters to raise the local option sales tax (LOST) in an August special election. This would extend and expand an existing half-cent LOST approved by voters in 2016. Read the full article in the March 14 issue of Navarre Press. Visit www.navarrepress.com/subscribe to view subscription options – or sign up […]

Funding for courthouse, sheriff cause budget uncertainty

Funding for courthouse, sheriff cause budget uncertainty

Despite budget votes being more than 7 months away, Santa Rosa county commissioners are already wrangling with two major funding decisions in the wake of Thursday’s early Budget Workshop. One major point of concern is how to fund the $45 million price tag on a new courthouse and judicial complex. Read the full article in […]

Tourism council balks at Milton Riverwalk fund request

Tourism council balks at Milton Riverwalk fund request

Milton officials faced harsh questioning by members of the Tourist Development Council (TDC) Aug. 2 over whether to commit funds toward the continuing Milton Riverwalk project. Milton City Manager Randy Jorgenson came to the TDC requesting funding for construction of additional Riverwalk pathway along 210 feet of shoreline in downtown Milton next to the Blackwater […]

County workers on track for $2.7 million in raises

County workers on track for $2.7 million in raises

Santa Rosa County has had a continuous vacancy problem in the Public Works Department, especially in Road and Bridges, according to Director Stephen Furman. The county reports that Roads and Bridges currently has 12 vacant positions at several different skill levels including mechanics, equipment operators and carpenters. Read the full article in the July 26 […]

Five things to know: County Commission

Five things to know: County Commission

1. No courthouse tax needed The cost of clearing underbrush from the future location of the new county courthouse came back at a third of the expected amount thanks to a low bid by J.M. Diamond Timber and Conservation, but the commissioners have decided to pass on the effort altogether. More than that, the commissioners […]

Santa Rosa County budget employs mix of revenue

Santa Rosa County budget employs mix of revenue

For 10 years, Santa Rosa County’s ad valorem property tax rate has not budged from 6.0953 mills, but the revenue from property taxes continues to grow year over year, largely because of an explosion in population and construction. Last year alone 1,396 new residential and 673 new commercial properties were developed. That can expand the […]

Sales tax shuffle

Sales tax shuffle

Santa Rosa County Commissioners are once again seeking to raise sales tax in the county while leaving ad valorem property taxes at their current rate. The new sales tax would levy a half-cent on every dollar spent in the county for items and some services, pushing the sales tax rate in Santa Rosa County to […]

More residents pay property taxes on time

More residents pay property taxes on time

In yet another sign of the area’s economic recovery, the number of Santa Rosa property tax delinquencies continues to fall. County records show that the percentage of property taxes collected after the annual March 31 delinquency deadline—when the levy for 2016 was due–fell to 5 percent this year. Read the full article in the Oct. […]

LOST committee scrutinizes 2018 projects

LOST committee scrutinizes 2018 projects

In their first meeting Tuesday, the Santa Rosa County Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) Citizen Committee has turned a critical eye on potential projects for the 2018 school year. One project drawing criticism from multiple members of the 10 member committee is the conversion of the Santa Rosa County Jail air conditioning unit to a […]

Pier partners owe county

Pier partners owe county

The already shaky partnership that manages the Navarre Beach Pier is crumbling amid unpaid state sales taxes leading to issuance of a tax warrant and failure to make the lease payment due to Santa Rosa County earlier this month. Read the full article in the March 23 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com […]

Logistics of the Local Option Sales Tax

Logistics of the Local Option Sales Tax

While county commissioners and staff are still sorting out the half-cent local option sales tax (LOST) issues, there is clarity on when the county will have those dollars in hand. Read the full article in the Feb. 16 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.

New sales tax boosts 2017 county budget

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 […]

Property tax revenues continue uptick

Property tax revenues continue uptick

For the third consecutive year, Santa Rosa County property tax revenues are expected to increase. During Tuesday’s pre-budget workshop, Budget Director Jayne Bell projected a 2.1 percent increase of just over $1 million – but don’t expect commissioners to lower ad valorem assessments. In fact, commissioners have discussed ways to increase some county revenue streams […]