School Board Approves Resolution for Half-Cent Sales Tax
In June, the School Board approved a resolution for a half-cents sales tax 3-2. The resolution must be approved by the Clay County Board of County Commissioners. The Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) must do an audit and the findings must be posted to the District's website for 60 days. The Supervisor of Elections has 90 days to post the resolution on a ballot.
As written into the agenda item, this resolution would allow Clay County voters to decide if they want a half-cent discretionary sales tax. If approved by Clay County voters, this funding would be used exclusively for school reconstruction and renovations, new construction, and improvement of school facilities including future safety and security improvements as well as technology upgrades. This half-cent sales tax would begin January 1, 2020 and would automatically sunset and terminate after a period of thirty years. School district staff shall identify a list of critically-needed projects within Clay County District Schools and all expenditures will be monitored by a citizen advisory committee.
Clay County District Schools currently has 42 schools with the oldest being 92 years old. The district also has more than 900 ‘portable classrooms’ throughout the county, many of which are at, or beyond, their expected lifespan. Currently, existing facility upgrades total more than $300 million. New growth construction is projected at $300 million over the next 5-10 years. Funds raised from this half-cent sales tax will provide facility renovation and repair, new construction, safety and security improvements, and technology upgrades.
At current levels, a half-cent discretionary sales tax is projected to generate nearly $13.5 million annually for school district capital projects. Over the course of thirty years this discretionary surtax would generate more than $400 million for Clay County District Schools. This figure is expected to grow significantly and compound over time as more than 12,000 new homes are currently scheduled to be built in southern Clay County. The outer beltway will also drive additional revenue from out-of-county individuals.
For more information regarding the half-cent sales tax, please click here.