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NEWBERRY – Residents will have an opportunity to vote on the Fix Our Roads Alachua County ¾ cent sales surtax on Nov. 6. The surtax is projected to generate $22.5 million per year in revenues, which will be shared by the county and the municipalities. If approved by the electorate, it will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Gas tax revenue fuel the county’s transit operations, maintenance and capital, but due to inflation and less overall driving coupled with fuel efficient vehicles, revenues have decreased by about $600,000 dollars since 2008.

According to Mark Sexton, communications coordinator for Alachua County, the Fix Our Road Alachua County sales surtax is a method to handle the county’s “road maintenance challenge.”  There are 2,517 road projects eligible for the funding. Alachua County currently has a 6 percent sales tax, and the surtax would increase that rate to 6.75 percent.

Existing gas tax revenues are not sufficient for taking care of Alachua County’s road-upkeep needs. From 1999 to 2010, gas tax revenues before reimbursements and other funding totaled $114 million and expenditures for improvements, maintenance, and capital infrastructure was $138.4 million.

“Fix Our Roads tax would create a revenue source to bring our county’s roads up to speed and get on pace to get to where we can use existing gas tax and other revenue the county commission allotted to roads to take care of future maintenance,” Sexton said.

The surtax revenues are allotted between the county and each of its municipalities with a compound equation that takes into account both the population and road traffic numbers to determine a percentage. Of the proposed $22.5 million to be accrued within the first year, Newberry should receive 4.89 percent or $1.1 million.

Over its 15-year lifetime, the surtax is anticipated to bring in about $300 million for road repairs, and was proposed in reaction to the recently estimated countywide road and street repair needs of $550 million, said Tricia Kyzar, an administrative assistant with Alachua County Public Works, who specified the maintenance issues in a presentation to the Newberry City Commission.

Cities will have the option to map out their own use of the funds, but the county’s portion of the revenues will be used to fix its roads in order of priority.

If the initiative is not approved, it is estimated that by 2030, the county would accrue an additional $65 million in maintenance needs as costs for paving and capital infrastructure increase. For an interactive map for specific proposed road projects, visit http://growth-management.alachuacounty.us/fixourroads/.

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Email cgrinstead@alachuatoday.com

NEWBERRY – Residents will have an opportunity to vote on the Fix Our Roads Alachua County ¾ cent sales surtax on Nov. 6. The surtax is projected to generate $22.5 million per year in revenues, which will be shared by the county and the municipalities. If approved by the electorate, it will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013.

Gas tax revenue fuel the county’s transit operations, maintenance and capital, but due to inflation and less overall driving coupled with fuel efficient vehicles, revenues have decreased by about $600,000 dollars since 2008.

According to Mark Sexton, communications coordinator for Alachua County, the Fix Our Road Alachua County sales surtax is a method to handle the county’s “road maintenance challenge.”  There are 2,517 road projects eligible for the funding. Alachua County currently has a 6 percent sales tax, and the surtax would increase that rate to 6.75 percent.

Existing gas tax revenues are not sufficient for taking care of Alachua County’s road-upkeep needs. From 1999 to 2010, gas tax revenues before reimbursements and other funding totaled $114 million and expenditures for improvements, maintenance, and capital infrastructure was $138.4 million.

“Fix Our Roads tax would create a revenue source to bring our county’s roads up to speed and get on pace to get to where we can use existing gas tax and other revenue the county commission allotted to roads to take care of future maintenance,” Sexton said.

The surtax revenues are allotted between the county and each of its municipalities with a compound equation that takes into account both the population and road traffic numbers to determine a percentage. Of the proposed $22.5 million to be accrued within the first year, Newberry should receive 4.89 percent or $1.1 million.

Over its 15-year lifetime, the surtax is anticipated to bring in about $300 million for road repairs, and was proposed in reaction to the recently estimated countywide road and street repair needs of $550 million, said Tricia Kyzar, an administrative assistant with Alachua County Public Works, who specified the maintenance issues in a presentation to the Newberry City Commission.

Cities will have the option to map out their own use of the funds, but the county’s portion of the revenues will be used to fix its roads in order of priority.

If the initiative is not approved, it is estimated that by 2030, the county would accrue an additional $65 million in maintenance needs as costs for paving and capital infrastructure increase. For an interactive map for specific proposed road projects, visit http://growth-management.alachuacounty.us/fixourroads/.

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