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HomeLocal & StatePublic feedback on 1/2 cent sales tax

Public feedback on 1/2 cent sales tax

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A relatively small number of respondents participated in an online survey designed to determine public opinion about the proposed 1/2 cent sales tax increase slated to appear on the 2022 ballot. Commissioner Steve Champion commented that “Out of 200,000 people, it would have been nice to have 20 or 30 thousand people take the survey, instead of that small amount.”

While over 40% of respondents reported that they would approve the referendum, which will be used to fund roadways, transportation, and parks and recreation, only 329 individuals who live in Hernando County responded to the survey. The 10-question survey was taken online using Open Town Hall software. 713 visited the survey in total. Citizens were made aware of the survey via the county’s website, Facebook, and email to Homeowners’ Associations.

The Top 5 roadway projects
Intersection congestion
Widen County Line Rd.
Widen Barclay Ave
Anderson Snow Rd.
None of the above.

The choices available for voting:

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1. Add turn lanes to reduce congestion at intersections throughout the County.
2. Widen County Line Road from two lanes to four lanes.
3. Widen Barclay Road from two lanes to four lanes.
4. Widen Anderson Snow Road from two lanes to four lanes and improve the intersection at Corporate Boulevard.
5. None of the above.
6. Widen Sunshine Grove Road from two lanes to four lanes north of Ken Austin Parkway.
7. Widen Weeping Willow Street from two lanes to four lanes.
8. Widen Kettering Road from two lanes to four lanes.
9. Widen Lockhart Road from two lanes to four lanes.

Top 5 Parks and Recreation projects
Boardwalk at Weekiwachee Preserve
Weekiwachee Preserve
Aquatic center – public pool
Splash park @ Anderson Snow
Indoor gym

The 8 Parks and Rec choices presented to the participants:

1. Ecological boardwalk between Rogers Park, Linda Pedersen Park and the
Weeki Wachee Preserve.
2. Development of lakes within the Weeki Wachee Preserve (kayaking, paddle
boarding, swimming, bike trails, walking trails).
3. Aquatic Center (public pool).
4. Splash Park.
5. Gymnasium for indoor sports (basketball, volleyball, pickleball).
6. Additional sports fields (softball, baseball, soccer, football).
7. Dog park (Eastside of County).
8. None of the above.

How many would vote for the 1/2 cent tax?
Yes: 40.6%
No: 26.9%
Depends: 31.0%
Not sure: 1.5%

Comments from survey takers on roads

“County Line road has gotten much more traffic and new developments are going in. The lack of turn lanes is [dangerous.] This could potentially cost someone their life.”

“There should be no tax increase until you restore the impact fees you cut. In case you have not noticed; there seems to be no shortage of buyers.”

“[Northcliffe] and Mariner needs to be redone as #1 on the list. Starting from Libby Road all the way down to [Northcliffe] Blvd. [Turning] left into the bank, Publix or Mcdonald’s is a death trap. They need to limit the entrances into those businesses ASAP!!!”

“The intersection at Barclay and 50 is a nightmare.”

“Barclay and Anderson Snow need updates as soon as possible. County [Line] Rd. is in dire need of expansion. All of the projects listed are important and should be scheduled eventually.”

Comments from survey takers on Parks and Rec

“Think about activities not linked to group sports. Not everyone is [into] group sports. Think about trending exercise and fitness options, like supporting ropes courses, climbing walls, fitness or boot camps, yoga, pilates, tai chi … Animal agility is a great workout for peeps and animals.”

“Population is [outgrowing] football field capacity. Anderson [Snow] is great for soccer and baseball but football is broken up in small parks with parking issues.”

“The preserve and unification of coastal parks will offload volumes on the river and enhance the area [overall]. The preserve is a hidden gem.”

“The county needs a recreation center that can be [multipurpose] with indoor basketball courts.”

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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