Tallahassee City Commission Discusses Sales Tax Money

By: James Buechele

The City of Tallahassee is trying to figure out where to spend sales tax money.

This comes after almost two years of discussion from a citizen's sales tax panel.

The sales tax in Leon County is split up into three sections.

The sales tax committee has address 80% of the $756 million over 20 years in revenue that's supposed to be generated.

The last 20% will be split between the City of Tallahassee and Leon County Commissions.

"Now it's time for us to sit down and decide 'well what would that 10% go to if that sales tax were to pass'?" said Nancy Miller, City Commissioner.

That's exactly what the City Commission was working on today. The City is deciding what to do with its $75.6 million from the proposed extension of the sales tax, which started back in 1989.

"The sales tax dollars are for things that are transformative," said Scott Maddox. "Things that can change the community with an infusion of dollars that aren't in our regular budgetary process."

Some of the top priorities for the City: sidewalks, a downtown stormwater infrastructure, and a senior and recreation center.

"It's very challenging to look forward 20 to 25 to 30 years and say okay what's needed where are the hole's gonna open up," continued Maddox.

This could all be for nothing.

If voters don't approve the continuation of the sales tax this November, both the City and County will be out millions of dollars.

"We've had a citizens committee make recommendations and now the City and the County each are coming up with what their top priorities are just for their specific pots of money," said Maddox.

Another issue that will be voted on tonight that is separate from the sales tax is on spending $500,000 on a new homeless shelter.

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