Common Cents for Sarasota County promotes penny sales tax

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A penny tax comes up on the ballot for renewal after 15 years.

What’s Sarasota without its surtax? A new video asserts much of the culture making the community a gem on the Gulf Coast relies on a one-cent sales tax appearing on the ballot this November.

The promotional ad, from Common Cents for Sarasota County, confidently predicts citizens will remain willing to pay another penny at the register to preserve community amenities. That’s because the area’s assets include “residents who understand the importance of investing in our present and future.”

“That’s why every 15 years, our citizens vote to renew a one-cent sales tax,” says Tanya Christiansen, a Sarasota actress serving as the face of the tax in the ad, as she walks the streets of Sarasota.

The tax first went into place in 1989 and has been renewed since.

Common Cents for Sarasota County launched last year with a bipartisan panel of community leaders at its helm. That includes Republican Sheriff Kurt Hoffman, former Democratic Sarasota Mayor Suzanne Atwell, Sarasota County Citizen Tax Oversight Committee Chairman Justin Taylor, Education Foundation of Sarasota County President Jennifer Vigne, Republican former Sarasota County Commissioner Carolyn Mason and former Sarasota County School Board member Gina Taylor.

Revenue raised by the tax in the county exclusively supports major capital projects and infrastructure improvements, including public safety facilities for police and fire protection, as well as beach renourishment and road repairs.

The ad showcases many of the areas that benefit from the tax, stating that it helps “improve public safety, protect water quality, reduce traffic congestion and fund other community needs.”

“And the best part? Tourists pay for over 20% of all the funds collected by the penny,” the narrator states as she steps out of Project Coffee.

Hoffman appears prominently in the ad. So does a fire station in North Port, the Venice Fishing Pier, and the Elsie Quirk Public Library, all facilities supported with the sales tax.

A referendum on the tax will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot countywide.

“And if history is any indication,” the narrator says, “it’s a no-brainer.”

Here is the ad:

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Just a comment

    August 2, 2022 at 11:40 am

    Willing as long as it doesn’t come out of pay checks and things cheaper anus

Comments are closed.


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