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Osceola Transportation Sales Tax Vote
Why is this Necessary?
Why should I vote for it?
Today Osceola County has 2,060 lane miles of paved roadways. Florida Department of Transportation recommends that Osceola County spend $12,000,000 each year in order to maintain the Osceola Roads. If roads are not maintained, cracks and potholes develop causing damage to taxpayer’s cars and creating safety hazards. If the roads are not maintained properly the taxpayers pay in either car repairs, injuries caused by accidents or both.
In 2014 Osceola County was only able to budget less than 30% of what the FDOT recommends for road maintenance and repair. For 2015 the county was able to supplement the 2014 amount by using a onetime addition of $4,700,000 to the county budget thus improving the road maintenance and repair to $60% of what FDOT recommends. Without additional tax revenue that budget would have reverted to less than 30% for following years. The county was in a death spiral with the roads falling apart due to lack of maintenance. Taxpayer vehicle repair costs were rising, traffic accidents were increasing and traffic congestion kept getting worse because of the deteriorating roads.
Starting for the year 2016 Osceola added 5 cents per gallon gas tax to provide more money for transportation and road maintenance. The results speak for themselves. As a result of the gas tax increase, funding for Osceola road maintenance has increased 158% over the year 2014. The county is still only at 75% of what FDOT recommends but things are improving. In addition public transportation funding has improved 41%. These improvements are not good enough. Osceola County residents deserve and should expect at least the same levels of transportation services as the rest of the State of Florida. The only way that can happen will be if the taxpayers provide more revenue to the county meet the transportation needs of the county.
The county will let the voters decide in a special election to be held May 21,2019 whether they want to continue living in the transportation death spiral or if they are willing to pay a penny more in sales tax to address the problems? The extra revenue provided by the sales tax increase will allow the county to expand road maintenance to meet the FDOT recommendations in addition to providing for new road construction and other transportation enhancements. The question will be for the voters to decide? Hopefully the voters will vote yes on spending more money to improve transportation?
Poinciana Parkway Average Weekday Traffic Volume Growing and Now Exceeding 10,000 cars per day.
Arizona Homebuilder Taylor Morrison purchase all of Avatar. Avatar is no more.
Taylor Morrison, the company that took over from Avatar has told the Solivita residents that they will no longer pursue the sale of amenities that had so fractured the community.
Recently elected Polk County Commissioner Martha Santiago came to Poinciana 7PM Thursday March 14 to meet and listen to the people of Poinciana about problems that Polk County can help with.
Latest traffic counts and level of service ratings for Poinciana roads give ratings of D, E and F for main Poinciana roads
Polk County steps up to start addressing Poinciana Traffic problems by hiring engineering company to draw up plans for adding lanes to Marigold Avenue and Cypress Parkway.
If Poinciana residents are fed up with the Poinciana traffic situation then now is the time to do something about it. You can start by adding your name to the petition. Those signing the petition will receive updates on what needs to be done to get our elected leaders from both counties to finally solve this problem
On Tuesday March 19,2019 Tawny Olore, Director of Osceola Transportation Planning will be meeting with the residents of Poinciana 7PM in the Poinciana Library, 101 N. Doverplum 34758, to make a presentation and lead a discussion of how Osceola County plans to address the needs of more roads for Poinciana. It is important that everyone interested in the subject attend the meeting. Please click on URL https://youtu.be/eSW1RnbAqPE to listen to the Spectrum TV13 news clip describing the plans.
On Thursday March 14 the Polk County Commissioner and her staff discussed how Polk County has committed $40 Million in road construction funds to upgraded Marigold Ave and Cypress Parkway on the Polk County side to address the Poinciana Traffic problems. Now it will be Osceola’s turn to tell the Poinciana people how they plan to address the issue.
Topics of the presentation and discussion will start out with the funding issue. Osceola County will describe their current road construction funding situation and why they have called for a special election on May 21,2019 to ask the voters to approve a sales tax increase. They will describe the amount of new road construction revenue for Osceola County that the sales tax increase is expected to generate. They then will describe based on current county plans and priorities potential construction plans to use that additional money. Some of those plans will include construction for Poinciana. Some will not.
It will be important for Poinciana people attending the meeting to provide feedback to the Osceola County representatives at the meeting. Do Poinciana people support the Sales tax proposal or not. If not why not? If not what do they see as the alternative? Of the projects the county will describe do the Poinciana people attending the meeting approve of the projects or would they rather see others? Now is the time to have those discussions with the Osceola County leaders who will be at the meeting.
This meeting will not just be for Osceola County homeowners. The new taxes being proposed are sales taxes. Sales taxes are paid by renters as well as homeowners. Sales taxes are paid by not just Osceola residents but Polk County residents who shop in Osceola county. Sales taxes are paid not just by full time residents but snowbirds and tourists as well. Polk County taxpayers have already stepped up to the table to address this problem by committing $40M in Poinciana transportation construction on the Polk side of Poinciana. They most certainly should have a say in this discussion.
The election to either approve or not approve the additional sales tax will be held May 21. Now is the time for the people of Poinciana to speak now of forever hold their peace. We hope to see everybody at the meeting.
Website Last Updated March 17, 2019
SunRail is gaining in popularity and ridership
Orlando TV WESH 2 says passenger numbers are almost up to the goals set when the system was proposed. SunRail had ridership goals from the very beginning and it is just now getting there since the southern expansion to Poinciana opened last summer. FDOT says SunRail is gaining traction, its gaining popularity, people are finding it is a great way to get around Central Florida. Scheduling tweaks to make it a better fit for hospital workers, an added late train on week night Magic games, along with the expansion south to Poinciana has increased usage to 6,000 people daily on average, even better on Fridays averaging 6300 riders, the number they have been shooting for daily but haven’t quite reached.
SunRail has listened to its customers and added service in response to their requests.
SunRail along with the Poinciana Parkway show that transportation investments made in the Poinciana area pay dividends. Hopefully if the voters approve the increased sale tax for Osceola County in the election May 21,2019 more transportation money will be made available to improve transportation problems in the Poinciana area.
The opening of the new Poinciana station has added an average 408 riders per day to SunRail. That ranks Poinciana high up in terms of most SunRail customers per day using the system.