Election results show Manatee voters overwhelmingly rejecting a proposed increase in the sales tax to pay for health care programs and approving a measure that would allow the county to award new and expanding businesses property tax breaks in exchange for new jobs.
On the sales tax question, 23,710, or 60.8 percent against; and 15,280, or 39.2 percent for, with all 99 precincts reporting.
On the tax exemption question, 20,396, or 52.5 percent voted yes; and 18,424, or 47.5 percent, voted no.
Officials say the sales surtax would raise $23 million to pay for county health care programs, including services to indigent. Proponents also argued passage would allow the county to slash property taxes by as much as 25 percent.
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County Administrator Ed Hunzeker has proposed such a swap as part of his proposed 2013-14 budget -- but as opponents have noted, the ballot question did not include such language.
The county commission would have the final say on whether property taxes would be cut.