Voters in Osceola and Volusia counties are being asked Tuesday to raise the county sales taxes to provide money for roads and other improvements.

Osceola voters are being asked to raise the sales tax a full penny, to 8.5 percent, in what has become a bitter back-and-forth campaign over whether the county needs the money to upgrade many miles of rural roads for the increasingly urban and suburban region, and whether the tax would make the county uncompetitive for business.

That proposed tax referendum would raise $67 million a year, and the county has pledged at least 75 percent would go to road improvements and up to 25 percent for bus service and other possible non-road transportation options, including possible increased service by the SunRail commuter train.

Volusia voters are being asked to raise the sales tax by a half-cent, to 7 percent, to raise $45 million a year that would go to both road projects and water quality improvement projects, in the county and its 16 cities. Volusia’s special election closing Tuesday is being conducted by mail-in voting only.

Both taxes are being pushed, in part, with the assumption that a large portion of the sales taxes, 30 percent

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