Updated: Sep 27, 2020
The tax is being proposed at this time for 6 major reasons:
Now more than ever in light of the coronavirus, our community needs economic stimulus. The referendum provides an opportunity to stimulate the economy in a way that’s a small contribution for the individual and huge boom for business and jobs. When the revenue collections start in January of 2021, thousands of jobs will be created helping hundreds of businesses. New and renovated schools will boost the value of neighborhoods and homes.
The November election places it on the ballot at no additional cost to taxpayers because it comes at the same time as the presidential election.
Every year, the backlog of repairs increases, adding to the cost and continuing the inefficient use of tax dollars to renovate old and under-utilized buildings. The longer we wait, the higher the cost down the road.
The decrease in state funding for facility needs since 2008 was never replenished and there’s no hope in sight that it will be. Most school districts in Florida and all of the urban districts have already passed a supplemental tax to make up for the difference. They also levy impact fees on new construction. Duval has neither.
Duval has the oldest schools in the state among urban counties. Many are operating under capacity and should be consolidated with other schools to improve efficiency and increase teaching resources. Some areas need new schools to relieve over-crowding and reduce the number of portables at existing schools.
Perhaps most important, high quality school facilities have a significant impact on student safety and achievement. With investments in security, technology and the learning environment, students will have the best chance for success.