Sumter County Proposed Penny Tax List Released

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In November, Sumter County citizens will vote on a referendum to keep the penny tax going for another seven years once the first round expires in 2016.

Last week, the county council passed the finalized list of 28 proposed projects that includes $20 million going towards a new emergency 911 center, police station and fire department headquarters. County Administrator Gary Mixon says this will allow law enforcement to utilize a new digital communication system.

"It's an old Analog system, it's in desperate need of upgrading," said Mixon. "In a couple years the analog system will be obsolete so we need to change to a digital format and this is all part of that process."

The tax is expected to generate more than $75 million in revenue over the seven years.


The process of narrowing the project list down began last fall with 8 groups that included members from all parts of the county.

"We want to make sure that every citizen can see a benefit in the tax," said County Council Vice Chair, Eugene Baten. "We want to make sure because we want them to support it, and one way to support it is to make them a member of the process. We can say this is your process, you had a hand in selecting these projects."

If passed, money will also go towards repaving and resurfacing roads and sidewalks which county officials say was the most highly requested project from citizens.

"Most of the folks at the local level are figuring out over time that if you're going to take care of these things, you've got to find a way to do it yourself," said Mixon. "We really think it's important to our citizens and it is the number on thing that our council hears on a routine basis is our road system."

A new recreation center gymnasium and renovations to the county administration, animal control and courthouse buildings also made the cut.

Officials say in order for voters to pass the tax, it needs to include incentives for all residents while enticing others to the county.

"The way to do that is to make sure that people see that your county is continuously progressing," said Baten. "That you're on the road to making improvements and building quality of life and upholding to our vision that Sumter County is a great place to live, learn, work and play."

Mixon says if passed in November, they'll work to take out a bond and begin on some of the smaller projects immediately.

This article was taken from WLTX you can find the oigional Here

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