Duval County voters approve half-cent sales tax for schools

Reactions are coming in this morning after Duval County voters voted overwhelmingly to pass the half-cent sales tax. That money will generate nearly $2 billion to help Jacksonville's aging schools. News4jax reporter Ashley Harding is live from Highlands Elementary on Jacksonville's Northside.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Voters in Duval County said yes to a half-cent sales tax increase to raise nearly $2 billion to fund improving the city’s schools over the next 15 years.

The referendum passed 67%-33%.

The half-cent ballot item is expected to generate that total for Duval County Public Schools, a significant portion of that going toward safety and security, building upgrades and renovations at facilities across the city.

Some of the lowest-income areas of Duval County will need the highest number of that tax money.

DCPS said the cost of the referendum would average out to $6 per month for a family of four with an income of $56,000.

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Duval County Referendum: School sales tax

“To upgrade aging schools through repairs and modernization, to keep schools safe and to continue to promote a conducive learning environment, to improve technology, and to replace existing or build new schools, and share with charter schools for their allowable uses, shall the Duval County School Board be authorized to levy a 15-year half-cent sales surtax, with expenditures based upon the Surtax Capital Outlay Plan and monitored by an independent citizens committee?”

100% of Precincts Reporting

(199 / 199)

Precinct by precinct vote on tax referendum

“It means the world to our school district, to our employees, to our students, but it means the world to our community," Superintendent Diana Greene said Tuesday night. “We have shown our community that our children are worth this investment and that we need to make sure we don’t violate that trust. We need to be as transparent as possible. That’s why I welcome the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee.”

Mayor Lenny Curry praised Greene in a Tweet Tuesday night, saying her leadership had made the half-penny referendum a reality.

Curry also thanked Duval County voters for supporting the tax, saying it’s an investment in the county’s children and their futures.

Look at how that half-cent sales tax will benefit area schools.

About the Author:

McLean is a reporter with WJXT, covering education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.