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Penny tax increase for Collier to appear on ballot

Posted at 10:20 PM, Jan 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-23 22:22:23-05

The Collier County Commission approved a ballot referendum that would increase the county's sales tax from 6 to 7 percent.

Food and medicine would be exempt from the tax, revenue generated would go towards several road projects.

"I believe with the population growing the way it is, we need more resources, we need better roads, we need a little more money and I think a one penny sales tax isn't going to kill anybody," said 36 year Naples resident Phillip Lavigne.

Some of the projects include extending Vanderbilt Beach Road east from Collier Boulevard, widening Airport Road from Vanderbilt Beach Road to Immokalee Road, and replacing or repairing several bridges in the county.

The North Collier Fire District is asking some of the revenue be used to fund the expansion of training programs for firefighters.

But some people worry the county will squander the tax money.

"We've had too many incidents up north where we’ve increased it, said that money would go toward something, that's the case for 6 months to a year maybe, then it goes into the general fund and it's gone," said Lisa Davenport.

The tax increase proposal will appear on the November ballot, and if approved, would only last 7 years.