Local Option Sales Tax Information (LOST)

Leveraging Additional Funds

Several projects that have been accomplished with sales tax dollars have leveraged state and federal grants as well as other county funding sources. The chart above represents the amount of projects that have been completed using this method.

Target Allocations

Based on citizen input received from survey comments and town hall meetings in April 2017, the Board approved the these 5-year target percentage allocations.

Recent Program Updates

Sales Tax Renewal

Santa Rosa County voters will have an opportunity to vote to renew the existing half-cent sales tax on November 3, 2020. A renewed sales tax will allow continued investments in public safety, infrastructure and quality of life projects. If renewed, projects will be identified through public engagement and input. Projects will be reviewed by the citizen oversight committee and by the board of community commissioner in open public meetings. 

Authorized Uses

The half-cent local option sales tax was passed by approximately two-thirds of Santa Rosa County voters on August 30, 2016 and went into effect January 1. The five year program will generate over $41 million to fund improvement projects such as:

  • Capital equipment
  • Infrastructure projects and public facilities
  • Law enforcement, fire and public safety facilities and equipment
  • Recreation/natural resources
  • Transportation and drainage improvements

Restrictions

LOST funds cannot be used for:

  • Employee insurance costs
  • Employee retirement expenses
  • Salaries, position upgrades, merit increases or Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA)

Ballot Language

“Shall a one half cent sales tax be levied to fund law enforcement/fire and public safety facilities and equipment, transportation and drainage improvements, infrastructure projects/public facilities, recreation/natural resources and capital equipment. The tax will be levied for a period of five years.”

Benefits

The half-penny Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) provides an additional funding stream for the infrastructure needs of our growing county while reducing the reliance on property tax. Identifying diverse funding sources like the LOST, which generates revenue for much-needed capital projects from visitors - not just residents - is essential to keeping Santa Rosa County ad valorem taxes low.