What is a discretionary sales surtax?
It is a local option surtax allowed by State law where individual Florida counties may ask voters to authorize a discretionary sales surtax or otherwise known as the local option sales tax. Local governments use money raised from the local option sales tax to pay for authorized projects.
How does the process work?
The local government, Collier Board of County Commissioners, voted to place a one-cent infrastructure sales surtax referendum on the November 6, 2018 General Election ballot. The referendum was approved by a majority of voters. The one-cent is expected to generate, on average, $70 million a year, or $490 million over seven years.
Approximately ninety percent (90%) of the proceeds will be allocated to the Collier County identified infrastructure projects to fund transportation, other capital improvements, and projects of community Interest. The remaining revenue, approximately ten percent (10%), will be split amongst the three cities, based on population, for identified projects from those jurisdictions.
How is the money being used?
The money will be used to fund tangible capital projects. The Collier BCC approved a project list that spells out how the County’s portion of revenue, an estimated $420 million, would be allocated. The list sets aside:
A Citizen Oversight Committee was established to review the County's expenditures of Surtax proceeds. (See the Citizen Oversight page for more information)
Naples, Marco Island and Everglades City will split approximately $70 million over the course of the tax, which will be used for city-specific projects.
Where can I find information on applying to the Infrastructure Surtax Citizen Oversight Committee?
There are currently no vacancies for this committee.
Residents interested in applying for any vacant positions on the Infrastructure Surtax Citizen Oversight Committee may obtain an application by calling (239) 252-8400, or by filling out an application on the county’s website at https://www.colliercountyfl.gov/your-government/advisory-boards/online-advisory-board-application
Applicants should have background and experience related to financial or business management.
How long will the sales surtax last?
The one-cent sales surtax could potentially expire ahead of the 7 year time-frame if the $490M total is collected earlier. If this does not occur, the sales surtax would automatically expire at the end of 7 years. It cannot be extended unless voters have the opportunity to vote on another referendum.
Why do a majority of Florida communities prefer a local option sales tax?
The local option sales tax is another diversified funding source that captures revenue from tourists and visitors. It is primarily used to fund capital infrastructure needs.
What is a one-cent sales surtax applied to, and what is exempt?
The one-cent infrastructure sales surtax will be applied to all transactions subject to the state sales tax. (See the Florida Department of Revenue Fact Sheet)
How does Collier County compare to neighboring communities?
When this was initially considered, 61 of 67 Florida counties have approved a local option sales tax to address community needs. Approval of the one-cent infrastructure sales tax puts Collier County’s sales tax in line with Charlotte, Hendry, Glades, Manatee, Miami-Dade, and Sarasota counties.
Lee County leaders placed a half-cent sales surtax on the November 2018 ballot for education issues, which was approved.
Why aren't impact fees being used for the identified transportation projects?
Impact fees are being used but the collection of these fees is not keeping pace with the need.
Is borrowing money an option?
Yes, the County can borrow money. However, if Collier County were to borrow money to complete the identified projects, the interest costs on the loan would be between $150-$200 million depending on the interest rate and term of the bond. The money required to pay off the loan would be taken from existing general fund taxes and fees and may require additional taxes and fees.
Are these projects necessary?
Yes, Collier County has grown by 65,000 more full-time residents in the past 11 years and is projected to continue to grow by two (2) percent annually.
The Board of County Commissioners have identified these projects as high priority in Collier County in order to maintain the adopted level of service in the community.
The sales surtax will allow these projects to be completed earlier than the County could otherwise do.