Orange County Commissioners Approve Sales Tax Referendum on November Ballot

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – By a vote of four to three, Orange County approved the inclusion of the Transportation Sales Tax referendum on the ballot for the general election on November 8th.

The measure would ask Orange County voters to approve a one-cent sales tax increase that would be used to improve transportation in the county.

Commissioners Christine Moore, Mayra Uribe and Maribel Gomez Cordero joined Mayor Jerry Demings on the vote. Mayor Demings had been pushing to include the tax since 2019.

“I’m happy that our Board, at least the majority, saw fit to give the power to the people and let residents decide whether to tax themselves in this manner,” Mayor Demings said after the vote.

If voters approve, the sales tax in the county would be increased to 7.5 percent.

According to the presentation before the vote, the improvement in transportation–which would include a commuter train–would create over 5,000 new jobs, $4 billion in economic output, a $910 million increase in personal income, and $2.4 billion in gross domestic product (GDP).

Demings’ team estimates that $21 billion are needed to improve the current transportation system in Orange County. With the sales tax $600 million annually could be raised to cover that, according to the team’s calculations.

Commissioners Emily Bonilla, Nicole Wilson and Victoria Siplin opposed the measure. Wilson in particular said that there was a lack of transparency in the plan.

As a compromise, the commissioners agreed to create a citizens oversight board to evaluate the city’s transportation plans.

Demings assured both the opposing commissioners and voters that he would work to ensure that everything is indeed transparent.

A 2022 Orange County survey indicated that a majority of residents desire a better transportation system and are concerned with growing traffic. The full results of the survey can be seen here.


Juan Carlo Rodriguez is a politics and entertainment reporter for Florida National News, and Assistant Editor for FNN News en Español. |

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