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What is an infrastructure surtax?

Under Florida state law, counties may impose a discretionary sales surtax to invest in local infrastructure improvements. Such surtaxes 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 District and municipalities. The one-cent sales surtax applies 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 parks, roads, sidewalks, libraries and schools; it may not be used to pay for general operating expenses.

 

Revenue from the infrastructure surtax is shared by the County, the School District and the municipalities. One-quarter of the revenue is allocated to the School District. The remaining 75% is distributed among the County and the municipalities based on population.

Surtax I - 1989 to 1999


First approved by voters in 1989 for the period of 1989 to 1999.




Surtax II - 1999 to 2009


Extended by voters in 1997 for the period of 1999 to 2009.




Surtax III - 2009 to 2024


Extended by voters in 2007 for the period of 2009 to 2024.





 

Sarasota County Projects

Siesta Beach Park Improvements
Siesta Beach Park Improvements

Improved outdated facilities; expanded parking; renovated and expanded restrooms; relocated tennis courts and gazebos; constructed a new maintenance complex and 15-foot-wide pedestrian esplanade; improved and expanded concessions; updated playground and family picnic facilities; and enhanced native landscaping and parking lot lighting.

Gulf Gate Library Replacement
Gulf Gate Library Replacement

Completely reconstructed Sarasota County's second-most popular library.

17th Street BMX Facility Renovation
17th Street BMX Facility Renovation

Created a professional grade track where nationally sanctioned events could take place. The project added new 5- and 8-meter ramps, a starting gate system, track reconfiguration, upgraded site lighting and drainage, and landscaping/irrigation at the 17th Street Youth Athletic Complex.

Siesta Beach Park Improvements
Siesta Beach Park Improvements

Improved outdated facilities; expanded parking; renovated and expanded restrooms; relocated tennis courts and gazebos; constructed a new maintenance complex and 15-foot-wide pedestrian esplanade; improved and expanded concessions; updated playground and family picnic facilities; and enhanced native landscaping and parking lot lighting.

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Transportation

Intersection Improvements
Intersection Improvements

More than 20 intersections were made safer.

Bridge Projects
Bridge Projects

Replaced and rehabilitated several bridges throughout the county to extend the service life and increase overall safety to the traveling public.

Major Roadway Projects
Major Roadway Projects

Resurfaced 715 lane miles of roadways which comprises just over 30% of the county’s entire maintained roadway system.

Sidewalk Program
Sidewalk Program

Increased safety by filling in gaps and adding sidewalks to local roads and thoroughfares in the Gulf Gate and Desoto Road communities as well as at Lockwood Ridge Road @ Bee Ridge Park and Richardson Road and 17th Street.

Parks

Siesta Beach Park Improvements
Siesta Beach Park Improvements

Improved outdated facilities; expanded parking; renovated and expanded restrooms; relocated tennis courts and gazebos; constructed a new maintenance complex and 15-foot-wide pedestrian esplanade; improved and expanded concessions; updated playground and family picnic facilities; and enhanced native landscaping and parking lot lighting.

17th Street BMX Facility Renovation
17th Street BMX Facility Renovation

Created a professional grade track where nationally sanctioned events could take place. The project added new 5- and 8- meter ramps, a starting gate system, track reconfiguration, upgraded site lighting, drainage and landscaping/irrigation at the 17th Street Youth Athletic Complex.

Blackburn Point Park Improvements
Blackburn Point Park Improvements

Constructed additional boat/kayak launch areas, parking, a restroom, and picnic amenities and expanded conservation areas.

Urfer Family Park
Urfer Family Park

Urfer Family Park is the first Gold LEED-certified park in the county’s parks system. A $1 million donation from the Urfer family and revenues from the infrastructure surtax funded renovations in 2009 that include a large picnic area and pavilion, playgrounds, a trail system, restroom, agricultural exhibit, and relocation to the park of the historical Dr. C.B. Wilson House.

Libraries

Gulf Gate Library Replacement
Gulf Gate Library Replacement

Completely reconstructed Sarasota County's second-most popular library.

Shannon Staub Library
Shannon Staub Library

This project was the construction of a new joint-use library for Sarasota County residents and Suncoast Technical College students. The 22,321-square-foot library uses technology enhancements, self-check-out and Automated Sorting Technology for automated check-in of materials.

Venice Library Replacement
Venice Library Replacement

Completely reconstructed the 50-year-old Venice Public Library with a permanent, 24,000-square-foot facility that features a cafe, Creation Station, 135-seat meeting-room, outdoor reading garden, Walter Farley Literary Landmark exhibit and Friends of the Venice Library bookstore.

Selby Library Remodel
Selby Library Remodel

Replaced flooring and painting throughout, created a new teen center, installed automated materials handling equipment and modified the existing chiller system.

Elsie Quirk Library Remodel
Elsie Quirk Library Remodel

In 2010, Elsie Quirk Public Library went through its most recent expansion, which included a 100 seat meeting room, a children's program room, and the remaining space was reconfigured to increase building efficiency. An automated materials handling system and a new Friends of the Library bookstore were also added to the 17,777-square-foot building. The Friends of the Library funded the addition of a Reading Garden in honor of the library's 50th anniversary.

Water and Sewer

Nokomis Sewer Line
Nokomis Sewer Line

Provided central sewer service to commercial establishments on Colonia Lane East, replacing aging septic systems and increasing the potential for attracting new businesses.

Brother Geenan Way Storm Culvert
Brother Geenan Way Storm Culvert

The project included design and construction of 830 feet of 36" RCP stormwater culvert and a bioswale treatment system. The bioswale serves as a natural, percolating stormwater treatment system to capture, filtrate and naturally treat potentially contaminated stormwater. This project also included a 10-foot-wide multi-use recreational trail and pedestrian bridge crossing at Hudson Bayou with kayak launch and on street parking by the City of Sarasota.

Other Projects

Terrace Building Remodel
Terrace Building Remodel

Sarasota County's nearly 100-year-old Terrace Building undergoes renovations that include roof replacement, construction of additional conference rooms, and installation of energy-efficient hurricane-protective windows on the building's 10th floor.

North Port Family Services Center WEB
North Port Family Services Center WEB

Renovated existing facility and expanded it by 5,000 square feet. Added 10 exam rooms, allowing the health department to serve more clients.

Traffic Control Signal Priority System
Traffic Control Signal Priority System

Integrated Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology with traffic control devices and systems by mounting GPS sensors and transmitters on emergency vehicles. Those sensors respond to receivers mounted on traffic control signals, turning intersection lights green, enhancing response time and improving the safety of emergency responders.

Spoil Island
Spoil Island

Restored 25 acres of native habitat on three dredge spoil islands in Roberts Bay that had been aggressively colonized by invasive exotic and nuisance plant species, increasing the islands’ usefulness to local fish and wildlife and improving water quality.

Click here to view the Surtax III Program Summary on tableau.com.