How the penny tax works
Under Florida state law, counties may impose a discretionary sales surtax to invest in local community improvements. It must be approved by a majority of voters in a referendum. In three successive referendums, Sarasota County voters have authorized a 1% sales surtax, on top of the 6% state sales tax, to invest in capital improvement projects for the county, School Board and municipalities.
This 1%, or penny sales tax, only applies to the first $5,000* of any purchase that is subject to the state sales tax (maximum of $50).
One-quarter of the revenue is allocated to the School Board. The remaining 75% is distributed among the county and the municipalities based on population.
Proceeds may only be used to invest in public projects such as public safety, the environment, water quality, libraries, parks, schools and roads; they may not be used to pay for general operating expenses.
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A second ballot question to accelerate voter-approved community projects through issuance of one-cent sales tax bonds also passed.
We invite you to use this website to:
Explore approved community improvement projects by municipality.
Review individual project details.
Use the interactive map to search for projects near you.
On Nov. 8, Sarasota County citizens voted to continue funding for local improvements through renewal of the penny sales tax. The current penny sales tax will expire on Dec. 31, 2024. The new penny sales tax will be effective on Jan. 1, 2025. It will continue through Dec. 31, 2039.
The 1% sales surtax, on top of the 6% state sales tax, will fund investments in capital improvement projects for the county, school board and municipalities. It will apply to the first $5,000 of any purchase that is subject to the state sales tax. Proceeds from the surtax may only be used to invest in public infrastructure projects such as public safety, the environment, water quality, libraries, parks, schools and roads; it may not be used to pay for general operating expenses.
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