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Bay County Half Cent Sales Tax: Where is your money being used?

BAY COUNTY, Fla. - The Bay County half-cent sales tax was implemented in January 2017 to help fund a list of road improvement projects across the county.

Since then, the county has received about $17 million dollars in funding from the sales tax.

County Commissioner, Griff Griffitts, said the county is upholding everything the tax promised to residents.

"The money is being spent exactly on what the tax was supposed to be spent for which is storm water, sidewalks, resurfacing, bridge replacement," he said.

Bay County Public Works Director, Keith Bryant, explained that before residents voted on the referendum, they were shown the list of the projects that would be completed using their money.

"The citizens saw exactly what the county wanted to do, from where we wanted to put sidewalks, to where we wanted to make turn lanes, to where we wanted to widen roadways," he said.

Some of the upcoming projects that will affect the most amount of residents are the widening of Jenks Avenue to four lanes, and the resurfacing of Thomas Drive.

"This was critical, we had a $57 million backlog of traffic and storm water issues that we would've never been able to address without this half cent tax," Griffitts said.

The surtax has also allowed the county to leverage grants and partnerships with municipalities, which has allowed them to almost double their funding.

"There were grants we couldn't go after because we had no funds to leverage," Bryant explained. "We've been very successful at leveraging almost dollar for dollar the surtax money that's come in to this point."

The county has already completed seven resurfacing projects and two stabilization projects.

You can see a full list of the projects here.


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