Local News

Sebring supports county tax extension

—The Sebring City Council Tuesday endorsed extending a Highlands County sales tax for 15 years.

Residents will decide during the Aug. 26 primary election whether to extend the 1-cent infrastructure sales tax until 2034. It’s currently set to expire in 2019.

County Administrator June Fisher said county officials will ask the Lake Placid town council next week to endorse the tax. Avon Park city officials have supported it, she said.

Assistant County Administrator Randy Vosburg said the uses for tax revenue include roads, lake and waterway improvements, government vehicles and equipment, parks and recreation, county facility improvements and municipal improvements.

The cities receive revenue from the tax, as well. Chris Benson, community programs administrative project director, said Sebring received $928,000 during the past year.

Benson said the county spent $178 million on infrastructure between 1989 and 2013. Projects in the works include a new law enforcement building, improving Emergency Medical Services facilities and $2.9 million worth of municipal projects, Benson said.

If the tax extension is rejected, the council would have to make budget cuts or raise revenue through property taxes, Fisher said.


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