History

A BRIEF HISTORY OF BLUEPRINT and BLUEPRINT 2000

In November 1989 Tallahassee and Leon County voters approved a local option one cent sales tax to provide funding for transportation projects and law enforcement facility improvements. Funds from the first iteration of the sales tax allowed the community to build a new Leon County detention facility, expand and renovate Tallahassee Police Department headquarters, and complete badly needed roadway projects, ranging from traffic signal improvements to new or expanded roadways (such as Capital Circle Northeast) to improved bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

At the joint County/City Commission meeting of September, 2000, Commissioners agreed to put the question of extending the existing penny sales tax on the November 7, 2000 General Election ballot for the voters of Leon County to decide. This action represented approximately two years of thorough consideration of keeping the penny tax in place, rather than having it expire in 2004. In November, 2000, voters approved the sales tax extension, to commence on December 1, 2004, and extend until December 31, 2019, thus creating the Blueprint 2000 program. Signature projects of the Blueprint 2000 program include Capital Cascades Trail, comprised of Franklin Boulevard, Cascades Park and the FAMU Way Trail, Capital Circle SE and Capital Circle NW expansion projects, as well as the preservation of sensitive lands across the county.

Blueprint 2020

The Blueprint 2000 program ended on December 31, 2019.

In anticipation of the end of the program, in 2012, the City and County Commissions formed the Leon County Sales Tax Committee, a group of 18 citizens, charged with presenting a forward looking consensus plan that would:

  • Improve and expand local roads
  • Reduce traffic congestion
  • Build new sidewalks to local schools, commercial areas and recreational amenities
  • Target projects in all parts of Leon County
  • Reduce neighborhood flooding
  • Expand green spaces, parks and natural areas
  • Create and promote jobs in our community

To that end, the Leon County Sales Tax Extension Citizens Committee (Committee) met 25 times from 2012 – 2014 and vetted, developed, and recommended infrastructure projects for funding through the penny sales tax.

The Committee engaged the public throughout their process and reserved the first portion of each meeting to allow the community time to voice their comments, recommendations, or preferred projects for consideration. The Committee hosted two open house style meetings to give the public the opportunity to provide their input and give recommendations on future projects for the Committee’s consideration.

 

Additionally, the Committee hosted a Sales Tax Committee Retreat in February 2013 where they approved an action plan to include economic development as a use of the sales tax revenues, as proposed by the community action group Imagine Tallahassee. The finalization of the sales tax proceeds investment into economic development was achieved at the December 2013 Committee meeting.

 

The Tallahassee City Commission and Leon County Board of County Commissioners both considered the recommendations of the Committee and in April, 2014, the Commissions met as the Intergovernmental Agency Board (IA Board) to discuss the projects to be included in the sales tax extension. The IA Board directed at that meeting, the first and only public hearing on the Ordinance to Extend the Local Government Infrastructure Surtax, which was held in June 2014 at the Leon County Commission meeting, where the County Commission approved the ordinance, which included the list of Blueprint 2020 infrastructure projects.

Leon County voters approved the referendum to extend the Blueprint 2020 program in November 2014, five years prior to its expiration, allowing project planning and design to be conducted early, where possible, and the benefits of the program in terms of economic activity and community enhancement to begin commensurate with sales tax extension revenues in 2020.

On January 1, 2020, a new penny sales tax program began. Of the sales tax generated, 12% is directed to economic development and 66% will provide funding to support the implementation of 27 infrastructure projects, listed below.  The remaining 22% is directed to the City of Tallahassee, Leon County and to fund projects requiring annual allocations. The list of the 27 Blueprint 2020 infrastructure projects, is below.

 

Project Name  2014 Project Estimate
Airport Gateway: Springhill Road and Lake Bradford Road $58,698,138
Alternative Sewer Solutions Study $2,800,000
Beautification and Improvements to the Fairgrounds $12,000,000
Bike Route System $15,000,000
Capital Circle Southwest $70,000,000
College Avenue Placemaking $7,000,000
De Soto Winter Encampment $500,000
Florida A&M Entry Points $1,500,000
Greenways Master Plan $15,800,000
Lake Lafayette and St. Marks Regional Linear Park $15,816,640
Market District $9,400,000
Midtown Placemaking $22,000,000
Monroe-Adams Corridor Placemaking $7,000,000
North Monroe Gateway $9,400,000
Northeast Connector Corridor: Widening of Bannerman Road $33,300,000
Northeast Gateway Welaunee Critical Area Plan Regional Infrastructure $47,300,000
Northeast Park $10,000,000
Northwest Connector Corridor: Widening of Tharpe Street $53,184,800
Operating Costs for Parks Built with Sales Tax Funds $20,000,000
Orange Avenue/Meridian Road Placemaking $4,100,000
Orange Avenue: Widening from Adams Street to Springhill Road $33,100,000
Sidewalks $50,000,000
Southside Gateway Enrichment: Woodville Highway $29,700,000
StarMetro Enhancements $12,500,000
Tallahassee-Leon County Animal Service Center $7,000,000
Water Quality and Stormwater Improvements $85,000,000
Westside Student Corridor Gateway: Widening of Pensacola Street $29,936,800

 

 

 

 

 

Gateway District: Southwest Access Plan

Gateway District: Southwest Access Plan

Pedestrian Bridge Picture

Pedestrian Trail and Bridge Capital Cascades Crossing and Trail Segment 3

Gateway District: Southwest Access Plan

Magnolia Drive Multi-Use Trail

 
Capital Cascade Trail Picture

Capital Cascades Trail

 
Capital Circle Project

Capital Circle

 
Northeast Gateway: Welaunee Boulevard PD&E Study

Northeast Gateway: Welaunee Boulevard PD&E Study

Capital Cascades Crossing Trail and Bridge

Capital Cascades Crossing Trail and Bridge

Orange/Meridian Placemaking

Orange/Meridian Placemaking

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