Sarasota County voters in a special election on Tuesday approved a plan to sell $300 million of revenue bonds to fast-track infrastructure projects and help jump-start the local economy.
Election results showed that the referendum passed with 68.6% of votes cast in favor.
The county will leverage a one-cent sales tax levied exclusively for infrastructure such as roads, parks, and libraries. Voters approved a 15-year extension of the tax in November.
Because the county’s charter sets limits on how much debt can be sold each year, voter permission was needed to exceed the annual cap and issue the new debt.
County officials said the bonds would provide an economic stimulus to build long planned public facilities and help the local economy by borrowing the money to begin projects now. Sarasota officials say the economic stimulus program would create more than 2,000 jobs, save millions of dollars in construction costs, and support the county’s economic and business base.