The one-cent sales tax, which would generate an estimated $182 million over 10 years, would cost the average citizen about $6 a month. Up to 25 percent of visitors would pay the sales tax as well.

MILTON — Phillip Hoffman, one of the main opponents to the Santa Rosa County penny sales tax, blasted county commissioners, even though they voted unanimously at Thursday’s meeting to study an impact fee.

Hoffman suggested a $10,000 to $12,000 impact fee on single-family homes for Santa Rosa County on top of a $5,000 one for the Santa Rosa schools.

“We’re not asking, we’re demanding,” said Hoffman, a Pace resident and member of Santa Rosa County Residents Against Overcrowded Roads and Schools. “They can please the builders or they can please us. They can’t please both. They can do it now or resign.”

Commissioners admitted having second thoughts after voters rejected the penny sales tax, 2-1, at Tuesday’s polls. A special election record of 19.83 percent of voters cast ballots.

The one-cent sales tax, which would generate an estimated $182 million over 10 years, would cost the average citizen about $6 a month. Up to 25 percent of visitors would pay the sales tax as well.

Santa Rosa County School District Superintendent Tim Wyrosdick said his five-member school board has failed to take action on the impact fee it presented at a joint meeting in May. However, he said that “November would be a possibility” to approach commissioners again.

The school district recommended $5,000 impact fees on single-family homes, $3,000 on multi-family units in the north end of the county and $1,500 on multi-family units in the south end. The proposed fees would generate an estimated $8.67 million to build new schools for students, the school district estimated.

Wyrosdick, who said he left the joint meeting in May “feeling somewhat despondent,” sent an e-mail statement to the Northwest Florida Daily News when asked about the county considering implementing its own impact fee.

“The matter regarding impact fees before the Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners is unique to their needs,” Wyrosdick said. “I am confident the commissioners will move forward in a manner that serves well the citizens of Santa Rosa County.”

Schebler, who plans to gather impact fee information for the commissioners to review at its Oct. 21 meeting, said it did not surprise him when commissioners decided to study impact fees and expressed disappointment with Tuesday’s election results.

“It didn’t go the way I would have liked it to have gone,” Schebler said. “The local option sales tax revenue source would fund the kind of infrastructure projects and improvements necessary in our county. Without it, we will not be able to undertake the vast majority of those infrastructure improvements.”

The impact fee that voters have insisted they want so badly generates less money than a penny sales tax. The fee, a one-time charge to home buyers who purchase new houses, also carries more restrictions. For instance, the funds can only be used where the impact occurred, such as in Navarre or Pace, and only during the time of the impact.

Santa Rosa County did implement an impact fee for three years from Jan. 1, 2006 to Jan. 1, 2009 and it generated $9,561,394 total, or nearly $3.2 million a year.

The impact fee paid for: Re-alignment and the purchase of roughly three acres at 5 Points in Pace, a Navarre community access road study, five sidewalks throughout the county, including Tiger Point Blvd., eight-foot paved shoulders along U.S. Highway 98, Military Trail, East Bay Blvd., Hamilton Bridge sidewalk right-of-way acquisition. It also paid for two turn lanes, including one at Chumuckla Highway and Willard Norris Road in Pace and U.S. Highway 98 and Janet Street in Navarre.

Meanwhile, the penny sales tax would have generated an estimated $18.2 million a year with the county earning $16.5 million of that total a year, while Milton, Pace, Gulf Breeze and Jay would share the remaining $1.7 million annually. The proposed sales tax was estimated by Santa Rosa County officials to generate $82.5 million for transportation and drainage projects, $49.5 million for public safety improvements and $33 million for quality of life enhancements.