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Sales tax extension again needed for community quality of life

August 17, 2020

August 17, 2020   

Sales tax extension again needed for community quality of life


The Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce will host its monthly Third Wednesday Coffee for the membership this week at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. A portion of that hour will be spent learning all about the proposed one percent option sales tax extension. Again. This same ol’ tax has been in place since 1994 to benefit Charlotte County and the City of Punta Gorda.

The chamber board of directors supports this extension. In fact, the chamber has been a strong advocate of one percent sales tax all five times from the very beginning.

I just heard you think, “Why?” We support the extension of this existing tax because the projects have been and will be tremendous assets to our community and quality of life, and because it makes sure seasonal visitors and tourists are chipping in a huge chunk with their visiting pennies. They do, after all, also use our roads, facilities, and services.

This all came about after it was decided that, with voter approval, counties can increase the statewide six percent sales tax to seven percent for infrastructure needs. These monies can be used for a wide range of capital infrastructure expenses.

The one percent has funded many projects over the last 25 years, helping Charlotte County through economic issues that include property tax reform, reductions in state and federal assistance, and unfunded mandates from the state and federal level. The City of Punta Gorda, by state statute, receives about 10 percent of the revenue based on its population.

Joining us on Wednesday morning will be Melissa Reichert, Communications Manager, City of Punta Gorda; Emily Lewis, Charlotte County Deputy County Administrator: Jared Bickham, Charlotte County Capital Projects Manager; Todd Rebol, Banks Engineering; and Rob Humpel, Florida Premier Contractors. Rebol and Humpel serve as co-chairmen of the Charlotte Makes Sense Political Action Committee (PAC). This team of speakers will tell you everything you need to know about the funded projects, the newly proposed projects future projects, and the processes involved.

We hope to see you Wednesday morning, and don’t forget your required face mask. All health and safety procedures will be followed. If you can’t make it, just remember to fill in that little oval in November to approve the Charlotte County one percent option sales tax extension.


If you have dreamed, your entire life, of being the Membership Coordinator for the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, I just might be able to make your dream come true.

We need an energetic, enthusiastic, experienced person to join the staff of our professional membership organization. This position will primarily be responsible for all activities related to the recruitment of new chamber members in order to meet assigned monthly goals.

The ideal candidate should have chamber of commerce operational knowledge, the ability to articulate the chamber’s mission and scope of services, and a drive to serve the business community.

Secondarily, this position will be responsible for sales of other chamber products, event coordination, and additional operational tasks. Strong sales experience and communication skills are required. Experience with customer relationship management (CRM) is needed, with ChamberMaster experience preferred.

For consideration, please email a cover letter and resume to yours truly at


   Since I’m not a coffee drinker, I silently refer to our monthly Third Wednesday Coffee meeting as the Third Wednesday Tea. Or Third Wednesday Diet Coke, depending on the day. I hope no one minds.


Teri Ashley is the executive director of the Charlotte County Chamber of Commerce, now in its 95th year. She can be reached at 941-627-2222 or at