Collier County proposes sales tax increase

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Collier County is moving forward with a proposal to add a one percent sales tax on top of the existing six percent sales tax.

County commissioners explained Tuesday that the extra money would improve major roads and bridges. Food and medicine would be exempt from the sales tax.

“I think it just opens the door for people then to change it to two, then change it to three and pretty soon it will be obnoxious,” Collier County resident Theresa Adams said.

While some shoppers are on the fence about a sales tax increase, others believe it’s a good idea.

“It’s a tourist town and the up-keep means a lot and I don’t think it’s killing anyone. One percent is not going to kill nobody,” Collier County resident John Grennell said.

The sales tax would span over seven years and could generate $420 million to go towards projects that have been put on the back-burner like the Vanderbilt Beach Extension, Golden Gate Estate bridges and the upkeep of county buildings.

“It’s our job to make sure the public understands the projects and at least from our perspective the need to do these projects in order to keep up with the growth in the community and catch up on some of the projects that we weren’t able to do,” county manager Leo Ochs said.

Charlotte County currently has a one percent sales tax while Lee County does not have a county sales tax. 61 out of 67 counties in Florida have a sales tax, according to Ochs.

Collier County will bring back a more refined project list to commissioners in March. Ultimately, voters would have the final say in November.

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