A Penny for Your Vote

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The sales tax has been in the spotlight since Bay Medical Center asked for a part of the penny. The county later denied the request and compromise was reached before heading to the voters this month.

Bay County Manager Pam Brangaccio says the plan is good.

"At least, we think it's a good compromise because it's only a half-cent tax for 15 years. Originally the proposal was for a one-cent tax."

Thirty five percent of the sales tax would go to pay off the incinerator debt and dozens of other projects such as storm water drainage and improvement of public facilities such as the courthouse and even playgrounds.

"The voters have a choice between sales tax, increase property taxes, storm water assessments. It's not a good menu, but sales tax, 25 percent we estimate, is paid by the tourists, so there's someone assisting the residents of Bay County in meeting some of the Capitol needs."

Some residents do realize what could happen if the sales tax does not pass, saying the bills still need to be paid.

Jean Roat lives in Lynn Haven and says the sales tax is a good idea.

"I don't know of any wouldn't want it done on the property taxes, but I think the property tax is a fair tax."

William Jordan of Mexico Beach agrees he doesn't want to pay in property taxes at a later date.

"I feel like we really need it and look forward to future uses of it. It's shared by most everybody who lives here and the property owners don't just pay the bill."

But before any pennies are paid, the voters in Bay County will have the next two weeks to cast their ballot on this sales tax.