Pasco Faculty Board requires November property tax referendum

LAND O’LAKES — Pasco County voters will get an opportunity to vote in November whether or not to extend their property tax charge in help of raises for academics and college employees.

The Faculty Board on Tuesday unanimously licensed a decision calling for a referendum that will increase the native tax charge by as much as $1 per $1,000 of taxable worth. If accredited, officers challenge the measure would elevate as much as $37 million yearly for every of the 4 years it will be in impact.

The income can be directed towards salaries. Pasco’s present pay charges are under these of surrounding college districts, together with Pinellas and Hernando, which have a local-option property tax in place.

“Our major job is to have good faculties. You’ll be able to’t have good faculties with out good academics and good help employees,” mentioned board member Colleen Beaudoin, who made the movement to carry the vote.

Associated: Pasco Faculty Board readies referendum on particular property tax

Board members got here to the assembly inclined towards holding the poll initiative. They mentioned as a lot throughout an April 5 workshop the place they instructed employees to come back again with a proposal to contemplate.

Their major concern centered on how a lot to ask for.

Board members mentioned they wished to place any query they set for achievement, realizing residents are feeling the pinch of excessive inflation and the district additionally desires to ask for a 10-year extension of the Penny for Pasco gross sales tax that pays for building and capital tasks.

The handful of people that spoke to the board Tuesday concerning the agenda merchandise mirrored these competing considerations.

United Faculty Staff of Pasco president Don Peace, who has advocated a referendum for practically 4 years, mentioned it’s crucial for the district to carry the vote to try to maintain college and employees from leaving. Mother or father Marta McLain argued towards the measure, saying the district ought to discontinue “meaningless packages” and get monetary savings for raises relatively than pursuing the “standard drained answer” of accelerating taxes.

The board dialogue hinged on these disparate views.

Board member Alison Crumbley spoke of educators who’re leaving the district for jobs in neighboring counties that pay higher.

“We’re nearing a disaster,” Crumbley mentioned in help of the movement. “What are our households going to do if we don’t have the academics to show them?”

Vice chairperson Megan Harding, a former instructor, additionally argued on behalf of higher pay. On the identical time, she acknowledged the necessity to overview spending line by line, to weed out ineffective and inefficient packages.

“I’d hope the neighborhood would worth the schooling system,” Harding mentioned.

Pasco just isn’t the one district looking for a property tax improve from voters this yr.

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Amongst others, the Hillsborough County Faculty Board accredited an August referendum on Tuesday. The Duval County Faculty Board did the identical in March.

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