The half-cent sales tax initiative is going to go before the voters.
"This has been on our radar for a while and we are seeking direction as we move forward," County Manager Larry Jones told Walton County Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday. "If we are going to take any action this year, we need to move to the next step to support and adopt ballot language."
Jones said that essentially, if commissioners want to move forward, it needed to be decided what the timing and ballot language was going to be.
"We have 50-plus projects available to use the money on and it will take 50 years to get those 50 miles of roadway done," said District 1 Commissioner Bill Chapman. "There are in excess of 200 bridges that need attention and two in my district need to be replaced."
With all five commissioners in attendance, all were in agreement that voters should decide on whether to enact the half-cent sales tax initiative.
The money collected from the tax would be in addition to money allocated in the budget for use for bridges and roadways and commissioners have been given a list of road projects that need attention.
"We are 100 years behind on infrastructure and we are No. 16 or 17 in the nation as the fastest growing county in the nation," said District 5 Commissioner Tony Anderson. "And 65 percent of this tax will be paid by tourists."
Chapman said the tax could generate more than $50-$60 million over the term of the initiative and there will be a sunset for it.
Chapman said the initiative should be placed on the primary ballot as the general election would be full of various items.
Commissioners voted unanimously to place the sales tax initiative on the 2018 primary ballot.
Only one person at the meeting spoke in opposition to the action.
"Paving roads in Florida is bad," said resident Coy Bowman. "It takes away absorption. You enact taxes for things we don't need."