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Sales Tax Bonds

Building Sarasota’s Future: What is the purpose of the bonding question?

Sarasota County Sales Tax Bonds Annotated Ballot Language.

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In Sarasota County, we believe important decisions should be made with community input. That's why the County Charter includes a provision that requires a majority vote by residents to borrow above a certain limit, currently around $25 million. This ballot choice would permit the county to borrow above that limit for approved community projects -- like public safety, the environment, water quality, libraries, parks, schools and roads -- that will be funded by a continuation of the penny sales tax.

Most importantly, every dollar will be spent right here in Sarasota County.

There are three main reasons this question has been placed on your ballot:

  1. It allows the county to start community projects funded by the penny sales tax sooner. 

  2. It saves money.  Each time the county issues bonds, it pays loan fees, financial advisor fees and other costs. Taxpayers save money by doing a single borrow to pay for multiple projects rather than doing several smaller borrows.

  3. It lowers inflation risk. When interest rates are low and inflation is high, it’s cheaper to issue bonds and fund a project sooner instead of waiting several years to pay for a project. For example:

  • The county’s current interest rates are approximately 2.75%, well below the rates for private entities

  • Inflation projections based on the current Turner Construction Index are 5.04%

  • For construction of a $40 million facility, taxpayers could save $5.1 million by borrowing funds to build the project in 2023 compared to waiting until 2030.