School Board Approves Sales Tax Referendum

The Leon County School Board approved a resolution to continue the sales tax levy of a half a cent (0.5%).

If residents vote yes in November the measure would last another 15 years starting on January 1, 2013. The referendum reads as followed.

"Shall a one-half cent discretionary sales surtax be levied in Leon County for a period of 15 years, beginning January 1, 2013, to finance education facilities, including construction, reconstruction, retrofitting, renovation, remodeling, land acquisition and improvement and the purchase of technology equipment, hardware and software for the Leon County School District, which levy will extend the existing one-half cent discretionary sales surtax that expires December 31, 2012."

Voters then have the option of either voting yes or no. This is not a new tax. In November of 2002, voters approved the sales surtax for ten years. It helped bring in more than $180 million. Renewing the tax would eclipse that figure to more than $270 million in revenue.

"It will be used for everything from technology to smarter classrooms," said Leon County School Board member Dee Crumpler.

Last time the sales tax levy was on the ballot it passed with more than 60% in favor of the referendum. In 2012, the Leon County School Board is going out of their way to make sure that people vote yes at the ballot box. A big boost to the campaign came from the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. The group fully endorsed the measure.

"The board of directors of the chamber of commerce recognize how important our school system is to our community and our future workforce," said Sue Dick, president of the chamber.

"I think that this community, for as long as I've been here almost 30 years now has been wildly supportive of public education," said Crumpler.

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