Posted: October 26, 2018 by Kelly Murphy-Redd
Welcome to the Okaloosa Economic Development Council’s new blog!

I’m Kelly Murphy Redd, CEcD and I will be sharing information important to our local economic development, writing about issues impacting our county, and generally connecting with you every month.

I am a Certified Economic Developer and past chairman of the EDC. I have been a Trustee member of the EDC for nine years, a member of the Investor Value & Growth committee for eight years, a member of the Defense Support Initiative committee and the Tri-County Partnership Initiative. I am a licensed Florida real estate broker and I run my own marketing company. The EDC is excited about adding our new blog and we hope you find it useful and informative.

Our first blog is about an important and timely issue affecting our county – the One-Half Cent Sales Tax.

Why we should Vote YES on the One-Half Cent Sales Tax November 6th.

On November 6th, Okaloosa residents will decide if they want to maintain and improve their quality of life. We can make a difference by seizing this opportunity.

Traffic congestion, roads flooding, our bay polluted by dirty storm water, outdated public safety and law enforcement communications systems affect every one of us. We are Okaloosa County.
Okaloosa County must do something now to fix these issues. We can, by voting YES for the Local Option Sales Tax on November 6th.

Fifty-six percent of the sales tax is collected during the tourist season. The proposed One-Half Cent Sales Tax means that tourists will help us pay for these needed improvements. Instead of raising our property taxes, we and everyone passing through Okaloosa County, including tourists, will pay an extra 50 cents on every $100 spent. That 50 cents is worth every penny to help provide for the following needs:
  • Safe Roadways
    • New traffic patterns, alternative roadways, new and upgraded traffic lights, improving intersections and resurfacing roads in order to make our roadways safe.
  • Flooding and Pollution
    • New storm water culverts, collection and treatment systems and water pipes to avoid erosion of our roads, flooding and pollution of our waterways.
  • Public Safety
    • Upgrading our 9-1-1 system and mobile emergency response equipment
    • Building training facilities for our public safety officials, first responders and citizens
    • Creating a mental health facility

The money collected will be divided between the cities of Okaloosa County by population. We could raise $18 Million Dollars every year! We can use that money to compete with other counties for matching funds from the federal and state governments. A citizen advisory committee will be appointed to assure government accountability and every penny will be spent in Okaloosa County.

We need to do something now to fix our problems. We are all in this together. Vote YES for the One-Half Cent Sales Tax on November 6th. For more information go to