The Florida State Senate voted unanimously to approve a local bill that allows Southport voters to decide whether to incorporate their community.
Last month, the State House of Representatives approved the bill.
Now it's up to the governor.
Once the bill passes, it will be up to the bay county commission to schedule a date for the referendum.
The bill establishes a city manager form of municipal government if the voters approve incorporation.
While some Southport residents have voiced concerns about higher taxes, others are excited about the bill's progress.
Southport resident Roos Ferland looks forward to more control over their community.
"The people want to control their own destiny, so everything else follows. If you want to control the destiny, then you work on the rest of it. If you don't do that then it doesn't make any difference one way or the other."