On Tuesday, August 29th, 2017, Martin County voters will have the opportunity to vote on a one cent sales tax increase to address the County's infrastructure backlog. Before sunsetting after the proposed 10 years, revenue from the one cent sales tax is expected to bring in over $262 million for Martin County and its municipalities. The Martin County Board of County Commissioners has earmarked 35% of the sales tax revenue for septic-to-sewer conversions and stormwater treatment projects. The sales tax would only apply to the first $5,000 of a purchase and would not be applied to unprepared food, healthcare, prescription medication, baby food, and residential lodging.
Why a sales tax now?
The Board of County Commissioners has justified the potential sales tax increase by citing the County's attempts to increase revenue, which include increasing the millage rate and raising the FPL Franchise Fee, having minimal impact on the deferred maintenance log. Of note; if the sales tax referendum were to pass, the County Commission would decrease the FPL Franchise Fee from 6% to 0.5%.