Local Option Sales Tax Information (LOST)

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Sales Tax History

The half-cent local option sales tax was passed by approximately two-thirds of Santa Rosa County voters on August 30, 2016 and went into effect January 1, 2017. It was extended by Santa Rosa County voters on November 2020 and will sunset December 31, 2026.  

Authorized Uses

The second five year program will generate over $59 million to fund improvement projects such as:

  • Capital equipment
  • Infrastructure projects and public facilities
  • Law enforcement, fire and public safety facilities and equipment
  • Recreation/natural resources
  • Transportation and drainage improvements

Restrictions

LOST funds cannot be used for:

  • Employee insurance costs
  • Employee retirement expenses
  • Salaries, position upgrades, merit increases or Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)

Ballot Language

“Shall a one half cent sales tax be levied to fund law enforcement/fire and public safety facilities and equipment, transportation and drainage improvements, infrastructure projects/public facilities, recreation/natural resources and capital equipment. The tax will be levied for a period of five years.”

Benefits

The half-penny Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) provides an additional funding stream for the infrastructure needs of our growing county while reducing the reliance on property tax. Identifying diverse funding sources like the LOST, which generates revenue for much-needed capital projects from visitors - not just residents - is essential to keeping Santa Rosa County ad valorem taxes low.