The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to advertise a public hearing to discuss a proposed sales tax by the local government to fund infrastructure needs.

CRESTVIEW — The Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to advertise a public hearing to discuss a proposed sales tax by the local government to fund infrastructure needs.

The public hearing, scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 5, will allow the Board to consider an ordinance to impose the sales tax and schedule a referendum for its approval by voters. A majority of voters would need to approve the sales tax for it to be enacted.

The hearing is the initial step in the process, which would allow Okaloosa County to adopt a half-cent or one-cent sales tax.

The proposed ordinance is to levy a half-cent sales tax for a five-year period, which would raise the Okaloosa sales tax rate to 6.5 percent from 2019-23.

The ordinance language will need to establish the manner and timing for the referendum. The proposed ordinance calls for a mailed ballot conducted in April 2018. The cost of that referendum is the responsibility of the county.

If approved by voters, the surtax will become effective on Jan. 1, 2019.