Local Option Sales Tax Information (LOST)

Chart showing financial information for fiscal year 2018

The Santa Rosa County Commission recently hosted three meetings to gain public feedback on infrastructure needs and proposed projects to be funded by the local option sales tax. If you were not able to attend, please access the comment card and share your thoughts. The board will review the feedback received over the next few weeks and will continue to update the citizens during upcoming committee meetings.

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.

Authorized Uses

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. Over the next five years, the half-cent sales tax will generate an estimated $35 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)

5-Year Percentage

Based on citizen input received from survey comments and town hall meetings, the Board approved the following 5-year target percentage allocations at the May 9, 2017, regular board meeting:

  • Capital Equipment 2%
  • Public Facilities 4%
  • Public Safety 27%
  • Recreation/Natural Resources 10%
  • Transportation and Drainage 52%