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Voters to Decide on the Orange County Transportation Sales Tax Referendum

This November, Orange County voters will decide if they want a one-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation needs across the County. On April 26, 2022, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted 4-3 to put the transportation sales tax referendum on the fall ballot.

Mayor Jerry L. Demings began the push for the referendum in 2019 by implementing a transportation survey and hosting more than 200 community meetings to better understand the concerns and needs of the residents. Unfortunately, those efforts were suspended several months later due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2022, Mayor Demings reignited those efforts to engage the community with a new online survey and more Community Open House Meetings.

A combined total of more than 19,000 residents responded to the survey, and thousands of people attended more than 270 community meetings, which gave County officials valuable feedback on how transportation issues impact their lives.

The survey showed that residents feel traffic congestion is the No. 1 transportation challenge they face today, and they believe building a mass transit system to include buses, trains and other modes of transportation is a top priority for this initiative. Pedestrian and bicycle safety also were top concerns for residents.

As for LYNX service, residents want more convenient routes and stops, increased access to more places, more frequency and express routes. SunRail priorities include evening and weekend service, increased frequency and access to more places, service connecting to the airport, adding an east-west route, and longer hours of operation.

If the transportation sales tax referendum is passed, revenues would start being collected on January 1, 2023 and could bring in nearly $600 million per year to be dedicated to transportation issues.

“It will be an economic driver that will create jobs, opportunities and connectivity. It will be an evolutionary process that will be something going forward for decades. Our residents are frustrated by the current state of affairs in Orange County. It is important they see themselves benefitting from this.”

Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings at the Jan. 25, 2022 Board of County Commissioners’ Transportation Initiative Work Session