On November 8, 2016, Alachua County voters passed the Wild Spaces Public Places surtax, an eight-year, half-cent sales tax to acquire and improve conservation lands a​nd create, improve and maintai​n parks and recreational facilities within ​Alachua County.  Among its provisions was a requirement for citizen’s oversight of the expenditures. On March 28, 2017, the County Commission adopted Resolution 17-36 establishing the Wild Spaces Public Places Citizens Oversight Board. The Oversight Board has met since 2018 to review funding receipts and expenditures by all the sales tax recipients and has handled several issues that arose during their tenure.

Infrastructure Surtax Oversight Board

Assure citizens and elected officials that all Surtax Revenues, including those expended by the County and each municipality, are expended only for the purposes authorized by Ordinance 16-07 and Ordinance 2022-08, respectively.

Track overall expenditure of the Surtax Revenues.

The Oversight Board may perform a pre-expenditure review of proposed Surtax Revenue expenditures and projects at the request of the municipalities or the County and advise them if they are surtax eligible.

The Oversight Board shall review Surtax Revenue expenditures and shall provide a written financial report of said expenditures for presentation to the Board on at least a quarterly basis. The Oversight Board Liaison shall be responsible for presenting the Oversight Board’s financial report to the Board. 

If the Oversight Board believes that a project or expenditure of a municipality or the County is not eligible use of Surtax Revenue or that additional information is necessary to make a determination, the Oversight Board may perform an in-depth audit of the expenditure(s) and request that the municipality or County making the expenditure provide additional supporting documentation.  If the Oversight Board determines that Surtax Revenue was expended on ineligible project or use, the Oversight Board Liaison shall notify the staff of the offending municipality or County and advise them of the deficiencies to allow the appropriate staff to review and correct issues associated with the expenditure. If the offending municipality or County does not report to the Oversight Board, by the next regularly scheduled Oversight Board meeting, the steps being taken to remedy the identified deficiencies, then the Oversight Board may immediately report its findings to the Board of County Commissioners, as well as the governing body of the offending municipality, if applicable. If the Oversight Board finds that the municipality or the County is not taking appropriate steps to remedy the identified deficiencies, then the Oversight Board may immediately report its findings to the Board of County Commissioners, as well as the governing body of the offending municipality, if applicable. If the Board of County Commissioners determines that Surtax Revenue was inappropriately used for ineligible expenditures, the Board of County Commissioners shall demand repayment and may take all steps necessary to effectuate that demand. 

The Oversight Board Liaison shall request that the municipalities and County must certify annually to the Oversight Board that there was an audit of the prior fiscal year’s Surtax Revenue expenditures and there were no findings.

For Agendas and Minutes from past Committee meetings, click here

Meetings

Financial Reports

Other Resources

 

Contact

Wild Spaces & Public Places 12 SE 1st Street Gainesville, FL 32601-6826

Board Members

Alachua County Members BJ Bukata Melissa HillDorothy Smiljanich (alternate)​ City of Gainesville Members Kaitlyn Dickinson David Ruiz - Chair Benjamin Fox (alternate) Incorporated Cities
(not Gainesville) Member

Thomas Hewlett - Vice ChairMegan Forbes​ (alternate)Alachua County MembersAuditor (vacant)Florida Licensed ProfessionalArchitect (vacant)

Look for this sign at WSPP-funded sites purchase by Alachua County

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 WSPP Styles