Bridge Addition for US HWY 331

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Bob Wells, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Telephone Poll about sales tax, 331 toll bridge

    Just recieved a call about taxes and toll for 331. It implied a $5 toll to pay for it and what a .01 cent sales tax would be used to pay for it amongst other things. Be prepared.
     
  2. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Who was the call from?

    Do you mean a $5 toll to use a new 331 bridge?

    Can you clarify what you mean about a one cent sales tax?
     
  3. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    $5 is ridiculous.

    Can we use the bed tax money to help pay for the bridge?

    IMO if we can use bedtax money to subsidize an airport in another county because it "brings in tourists" and build a rest area, we can certainly use it to improve the main tourist traffic artery.
     
  4. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    The indication was a 5 dollar toll with a reduced rate I assume with a sun pass like the mid bay bridge or a 1 cent sales tax to pay for it. They also said that the money may be used to pave dirt roads, beautify median on hwy 98 and the like. I for one am opposed to a toll for the only North South road crossing the intercostal, and the cost to those folks who drive from the north to the south to work would be outrageous. It also irks me that Bay County has 3 north south corridors and 79 is in the process of being 4 laned. 2 or 3 years ago Dave Murzin, from Pensacola area, who was a state Representative asked the group I was with our thoughts about a toll road for 331. He advised then that a Walton contingent came to the Capital to push that agenda. He did not give me any names. Hope this helps Kurt.
     
  5. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Also I think the group who was doing the poll was a group that was calling for local issues the last election cycle
     
  6. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Thanks for the info. Of course no one wants a toll but it seems no major bridge project gets doen these days without one. The 331 bridge will need two new spans at a very high cost.

    I assume they meant a one cent sales tax would pay for a discounted toll (sun pass). Sad that we have to consider sales tax to pay for roads and bridges.
     
  7. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    Company that is doing the survey was Pro Mark out of Houston Tx. As I understood it the tax was to pay for the bridge and widening. I did tell them that I thought the survey was poorly done and had to many variables.
     
  8. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    1% additional sales tax bonded for 25 years would net 135million. Strike a deal with FDOT to pay for 1/4 of the 300 million to 4 lane to I10 and new bridge costs 75 million. Pave 100 miles of dirt road costs 50 million. Then complete the center of HW98 beautification finishes off the 135 million.

    This would be a 5 year project and create about 700 jobs

    This would also mean tourists paid for 1/2 the cost, but would give WC the highest sales tax rate in state.

    Referendum in January.

    Any takers?

    Survey is to gauge support for project.
     
  9. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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  10. BeachSteelers

    BeachSteelers Beach Fanatic

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    Where's the $30+ Billion/yr the Feds and States rain in from Gas/Diesel taxes? Add to that property taxes which also are to pay for roads. Simple math reveals plenty of money. 380,000,000/Gals gas a day times .18cents/fed tax times .22cents state avg tax. times 365.
    About 16.3 Mil/day. Just gas tax. Add Diesel plus property taxes. I say they fudge their numbers. A LOT! Scare tactics to sell a bridge to no where. Toll it if and only if when the $135 million is collected to pay for it then abolish the toll. Same with any Tax increase. But I say we audit the state and feds first!
     
  11. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    It is clear that the need for four-laning 331 is waaaaaaaaaaay overdue. And the bridge is the most expensive piece to that project. It is also clear that the state and federal governments are not going to do much. One reason for this may be the mixed messages they recieve from local governments concerning toll/no toll and such.
    I share Bob's disgust with Bay County having 4 north/south corridors four-laned and Walton having zero. Looks like the state could have carved us out some of that funding. But the time is past due to move forward any way possible short of a toll road, so the sales tax idea is probably our best option at this time. I hate taxes, but I would give this option alot of consideration if a four-laned evacuation route all the way to Alabama is the end result.
     
  12. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    IMO we would be a lot closer to a 4 lane 331 if there wasn't a group (of the same old players) trying to make it a private bridge and lobbying for it as such.
     
  13. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    The info I posted is what the WCTA was told when they were asked whether they would oppose the 1% sales tax issue.

    They were also told about the survey being conducted currently.
     
  14. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    Funny how the same names keep popping up in issue after issue isn't it? Do you suppose Walton county voters will ever get tired of these people sc**w**g us and vote the rats out?
     
  15. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    I find it incredible that we have lived here for 5 years- and don't seem to be any closer to 4 laning 331 and getting a new bridge than we were in 2006!
     
  16. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    People who make lots of donations and have lots of influence actively working against a project do tend to slow it down.

    Especially when their group includes the same elected officials who are supposed to be promoting the damn bridge!
     
  17. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    And we continue to re-elect them. So who is at fault? New blood could not do any worse than what we have in office right now.
     
  18. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    What we kemosabe? I sure as **** didn't vote for them!
     
  19. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    I was referring to the collective "we" I did not vote for them either. Hopefully this election cycle will see a majority of people vote like us and we can vote all of them out. Like I said, someone new could not do any worse.
     
  20. Kurt Lischka

    Kurt Lischka Admin Staff Member

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    Actually I think we are. It's just slow. Segments are being 4-laned and lobbying is being done behind the scenes. It could be that the deflation of tax dollars and Joe's clout might have slowed things a bit.
     

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