On January 25, 2022, Orange County re-launched its Transportation Sales Tax Referendum initiative.
The proposal will be put to a popular vote in November, allowing Orange County residents to vote and decide if they want a one-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation needs throughout the County.
Mayor Jerry L. Demings began working on this initiative in 2019 after implementing a transportation survey and hosting community meetings to better understand the needs and concerns of county residents.
However, the initiative was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so in January 2022, the County launched a new online survey and held new community open houses.
The survey uncovered that the #1 transportation challenge for the community, was traffic congestion. Residents felt that building a public transportation system that includes buses, trains, and other modes of transportation should be a top priority. The safety of pedestrians and cyclists was another of the residents’ concerns.
With all this in mind, Orange County is proposing a one-cent sales tax increase for transportation (i.e. The current sales tax in Orange County of 6.5% would increase to 7.5%).
This increment intends to fund specific transit and road infrastructure needs to improve safety, mobility, connectivity, and air quality. If approved, the increase would begin on January 1, 2023,and has the potential to generate almost $600 million per year, which would be used exclusively for transport, infrastructure, technology, and public transport projects.
The overall concept is to create a viable transport system that benefits everyone. A robust transit system that runs frequently, more direct, and on time would open up the possibility of fewer vehicles on the roads, and when drivers opt to become riders, that will also help with traffic flow and positively impact the environment.
Stay informed on the progress of this reform, so you can make the right choice.