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Martin County voters to decide Tuesday on sales tax increase

Posted at 6:57 PM, Aug 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 05:54:33-04

Voters in Martin County head to the polls Tuesday to decide on a proposed 1 cent or 1 percent sales surtax.

In the Golden Gate neighborhood south of Stuart, it’s been 30 years since Golden Gate Avenue had a complete makeover.

“This road has deteriorated beyond its useful lifespan." said George Dzama, Capital Projects Manager for Martin County Engineering.

There are the visible potholes and roadway cracking, but Dzama says there are other problems you can’t see.

“There’s an actual dip in the roadway here. That indicates a pipe failure under the roadway,” said Dzama.

Right now, the county has a more than $430 million backlog of infrastructure projects.

The proposed sales surtax could bring in $230 million over its 10-year life span.

The majority would be for roadwork and new public safety buildings, but at least 35 percent would be on drainage work and money for septic-to-sewer conversions.

Former County Commissioner Tom Kenny heads the Martin County Taxpayers Association. He told Commissioners last week his group wasn’t opposed to the sales tax concept, but ultimately could not support it.

“If you’d give us some assurance that we’d relax on the property tax for a while, we could come out and endorse it but they aren’t in a position or don’t want to do that or can’t do that right now," said Kenny.

The average household that earns $52,000 a year, would see a $22 monthly increase in their tax bill.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.