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Penny for your thoughts: Hank Fishkind considers the transportation sales tax initiative

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Hank Fishkind. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

Orange County residents will take to the polls on November 8th to decide among other things whether they want a penny sales tax to help fund transportation. 

WMFE’s Danielle Prieur spoke with economic analyst Hank Fishkind about the mass transit problems facing the area.

Interview highlights

On how the sales tax would work

“The one cent sales tax applies to the first $5,000 of any single sale of taxable retail goods and services. Now, this excludes food, prescription drugs, medical supplies and utilities. And importantly, tourists and visitors pay about a half of the total.”

On whether struggling families would pay more

“Yeah, that’s partially true, in that those with less income certainly pay more of their income in the tax than wealthier households. But that’s somewhat misleading. Because the surtax is really the same for everybody. Everybody pays the same one cent, and essential goods and services, including food medicines, they’re exempt.”

On why it’s important to invest now in mass transit

“We’re just at the dawn of the age of self-driving vehicles, you know, at Lake Nona Beep has proven to be effective, and a demonstration of the world that’s coming. So we need to make our investments now in the mass transit systems that will focus on this evolution in the future system that we need.”

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »