CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – Clay County voters will have the opportunity to vote on whether to keep paying a property tax increase that passed in 2018. Much of that money went to starting up a school district police force, securing school buildings with only one way in and out, and putting up fencing around each school.
Clay County voters will decided in November whether to keep that property tax hike in place. To give you an idea of how much money it is -- a home with $100,000 taxable value would cost an extra $100 a year.
It was passed in 2018, following school security mandates by the state of Florida -- the result of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
RELATED: Voters Guide | Clay County Referendum
When News4JAX reporter Scott Johnson reported the story in 2018, district leaders gave him reasons for needing the money. Scott said, “The school district points out property taxes in Clay have gone down drastically in decades. Look at this list they gave me back in 2002, again in 06 again in 2016 and 2017 they went down.”
But one thing that was also mentioned was that this was a temporary tax hike, only to last four years. Year four is now here -- and the district says it still needs the money.
As part of our commitment to making sure ‘Your Voice Matters’, we asked voters their feelings on this.
“All the shootings lately going on, I think that it’s good to have security guards at every school,” Clay County resident Letty Laffey said. Scott asked, “Paying the tax increase is ok?” Laffey replied, “It’s ok for me. It has to do with the kids.”
Clay County resident Lanny Wilson said, “as long as all of our budgeted dollars are being spent responsibly.” Scott asked, “That’s a big thing for you?” Wilson replied, “Absolutely. You can not put a price tag on security for our children.”