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Lawyers who helped Duval County schools fight for ½-cent sales tax waive fees

Lawyers to Duval County Public Schools: You owe us nothing

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The team of attorneys who spent more than 700 hours over eight months representing Duval County Public Schools in its fight to get a half-cent sales tax before voters will not be charging taxpayers for the legal services.

“It was our privilege to help give the children of our county a better education. Charging a fee would

“To charge the district for helping to provide enhanced learning environments for our children, improve their security, and bolster the overall economy of our community would be unimaginable,” said attorney Hank Coxe, one of the attorneys on the board’s legal team.

The legal team included Scott Cairns, Cameron Kynes and Hal Houston of the McGuireWoods law firm; Hank Coxe and Michael Lockamy of the Bedell, Dittmar, DeVault, Pillans & Coxe law firm; and Audrey Moran of The Law Offices of Audrey Moran.

The legal dispute ended last week when the Jacksonville City Council voted to accept a settlement agreement and place the referendum for a half-cent sales tax on the ballot. The council vote and the mayor’s signing of the ordinance paved the way to allow the community to decide on Nov. 3, 2020, whether to approve a tax to repair and renovate schools, improve campus safety, reduce portables, improve technology and build new schools in areas of growth.

“I am speechless, and that’s rare for me!” Duval County School Board chairman Warren Jones said in a statement. “These are veteran, high-level legal experts who normally receive hundreds of dollars per hour for their work. To know that they selflessly waived this fee on principle, and on behalf of the Jacksonville community, is beyond anything I have experienced in my more than 30 years in public office. This is unprecedented, and on behalf of our children and community, I say thank you!”

For more information about the referendum, the revenue the tax would generate and an outline of the Master Facility Plan that it would fund, visit Duval County Public School’s website making the case for the tax: ourduvalschools.org.

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