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Mayor Jerry Demings Calls for Public Transportation, Living Wage in First State of the County Address


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If approved by voters, it would increase the current sales tax residents pay from 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

If approved by voters, it would increase the current sales tax residents pay from 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings called for a sales tax increase today.

The money collected would be used to pay for more public transportation.

He also called for a $15 minimum wage for county employees.

Demings said the money collected from a sales tax referendum would help pay for more buses, trains, and pedestrian walkways.

If approved by voters, it would increase the current sales tax residents pay at the cash register from 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent.

“I look forward to leading efforts to pass a 1 cent sales tax that will allow us to fully fund a transportation system that can better serve us well into the future.”

He said a new high speed Virgin Trains USA train and the expansion of the I-4 corridor will also offer residents more transportation options.

A similar proposal to raise the sales tax by half a cent to pay for transportation failed in 2003.

Demings also called for a living wage for county employees over the next three years.

“It is my commitment that every full-time Orange County employee will earn a minimum of fifteen dollars an hour by the end of 2021.”

He called on private and public employers to follow suit by raising their minimum wage.

Disney has already announced it will pay its employees $15 dollars an hour by 2021.

To watch the full “State of the County” address, please click on the link.

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

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Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »

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