The Walton County Board of County of Commissioners is seeking an organization that can lobby for them to get information out about the need for a half-cent sales tax.
Finance Manager Melissa Thomason asked for direction from commissioners on how to proceed following previous public workshops that were held to discuss a potential half-cent transportation sales surtax.
Although District 4 Commissioner Sara Comander said she feels that at this time commissioners need to table the item, that idea was met with opposition.
"Sixty-two percent of these sales taxes are paid for by tourists who come here. That is the only way this is fair. If they are paying 62 percent it's relatively inexpensive," countered District 1 Commissioner Bill Chapman. "We used it for the bridge, the tourists helped pay for it and we had some left over. If we don't move forward to do this what we will end up doing when you only put $2 million per year into the account to pave people's roads is we will never get our bridges fixed. $2 million will pave a mile and a half of road. There are 300 miles of dirt roads in this county that need to be paved."
While Comander said she understands Chapman's point, she feels there is so much opposition to a half-cent tax right now that it should be tabled.
"There is opposition to everything that comes before this board," said Chapman. "Let the people decide."
Commission Chair Cecilia Jones said she believes public opinion might change if people are informed of what they are voting on.
"We can't lobby for this. Is there an organization that can lobby for us?" she asked.
Thomason answered that there is not one to her knowledge.
Chapman made the motion to instruct staff to see if there is any organization that wants to lobby in favor of the transportation surtax for the commissioners.
The motion passed.