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1% Sales Tax Initiative

A 1% sales tax option to fund public safety equipment needs for law enforcement, fire rescue and EMS, as well as transportation capital and road rehabilitation projects for the county and municipalities.

The Penny sales tax funds public safety and transportation infrastructure, not salaries or recurring costs.


Property tax values (an important part of what funds county services, including public safety) declined by 38% after fiscal year 2007-08, and the commission held the millage rate flat to prevent an increase in residents’ property taxes during the recession.

The county commission voted to place the sales tax option on the ballot as a means of addressing a backlog of public safety and transportation projects that accumulated during our community’s economic downturn during the Great Recession of 2008.

The sales tax would be the most equitable funding source, as an estimated 30% of the tax would be paid for by visitors, helping to pay for the road and public safety resources they use while in the county.

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After months of public input and workshops, the county commission presents a sales tax as an option for countywide revenue to the voters on the November 2015 presidential primary ballot. The sales tax was approved allowing funds to be collected from
Jan. 1, 2016 to Dec. 31, 2020.

The Penny sales tax was renewed by voters via the November 2020 ballot. Revenue from the tax will be returned to Marion County until Dec. 31, 2024. 


Property taxes are paid only by property owners in
Marion County.


A sales tax would be paid by everybody; residents
and visitors alike.

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The county commission had three options:

  1. Raise property taxes.

  2. Continue building a countywide backlog of equipment and projects.

  3. Present a sales tax to the voters.


Equipment needs and projects were prioritized and submitted by county departments and municipalities to the county commission. Priorities were identified based on areas of critical need.

Per Florida Statute 212.055(2), the sales tax must be used for one-time purchases, not salaries and other recurring operational expenses.

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