Nearly 20 years to the day after Volusia County voters agreed to tax themselves to fund land preservation efforts and recreational, cultural and historic facilities, local voters will be going back to the polls to decide if they want the programs to continue for another 20 years.
With Volusia County’s ECHO and Volusia Forever programs set to expire, the Volusia County Council decided to ask voters whether they want to renew them after hearing from supporters of the programs.
Volusia ECHO and Volusia Forever Expiring – Voters now Decide
The original referendum approving the programs took place on November 7, 2000, with Volusia Forever getting 61.3 percent support and ECHO getting 57.5 percent support.
The new referendum to decide whether the programs will continue is slated to take place during this fall’s general election on November 3, 2020. If approved by voters, the new measures would authorize the county to issue bonds to fund future projects – up to $40 million in bonds for the ECHO program and up to $60 million for Volusia Forever.
The bonds would be repaid by the programs’ dedicated property taxes. And just like in the 2000 referendum, the ballot language would require each program to have an advisory oversight committee.
The council added a requirement that each program be subject to an annual audit.