Walton County Residents Get Ready To See Tax Increase

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When most stores in Walton County open tomorrow morning, they’ll be ringing up a little extra at the cash register. Back in May, residents approved a half cent sales tax increase to help pay for the expansion of the Clyde B. Wells bridge on Highway 331.

“And that half cent sales tax will be used to go towards funding the new bridge off of 331 as well as the widening of that road coming all the way up to I ten” said Walton County Public Information Manager Louis Svehla.

Svehla says the tax increase isn’t permanent.

“It is supposed to sunset once there is enough money raised to pay for that bridge and for that four laning. So anytime you go into a store or a shop or purchase goods that aren’t exempt from sales tax” said Svehla.

And for those items that are exempt from sales tax like groceries or prescription drugs nothing will change. Svehla says they’ll have a better idea this time next year exactly how long it will take to pay off its seventy-five million dollar portion of the bridge project.

“Depending on the tourism how many people come to spend money and how much is collected will really determine the time frame that it’s paid off. I think the estimate right now is somewhere between 12 and 15 years” said Svehla.

Walton county is partnering with the Florida department of transportation on the bridge expansion.
The entire bridge project is estimated to be completed by 2017.

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