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Sales tax talk returning to St. Lucie

Posted at 7:26 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 19:26:14-05

Despite failures at the ballot box in 2016 in St. Lucie County, and earlier this year in Martin County, talk is heating up again on the Treasure Coast about a possible sales tax referendum.

Port St. Lucie’s City Council held a special meeting Monday afternoon to talk about what voters could see in 2018.

Whether a ballot question puts it at 1/2 cent over 20 years, or 1 cent over 10 years, the city would get about 135-million needed dollars.

“These are all projects that the city council has discussed in the past of which we have no ready revenue source to fund the projects," said City Manager Russ Blackburn.

One possible use for sales tax revenue would be sidewalks. The city could put aside 10.5 million dollars and complete all of the sidewalks in its’ master plan in 10 years.

Another project, completing the widening of Port St. Lucie Boulevard south of Tulip to Becker over the next 5 years at a price tag of 25-million dollars.

While it’s ultimately the county’s decision whether to bring a sales tax before the voters, it won’t pass without the city.

“The city represents 60% of the voters and the county represents a large portion of the capital needs in our community," said Blackburn.

The sales tax will be a topic of conversation next Wednesday when the city council holds a joint meeting with the St. Lucie County Commission.