A half-cent sales tax measure to benefit schools in Clay County was passed by voters on Tuesday, bringing the county much-needed relief for improvements to schools there.
The measure, which passed 56% to 44%, will increase the sales tax in Clay County to 7.5 cents beginning Jan. 1, 2021.
Clay County has around 900 portable classrooms which is near the top of the state for any school district. The district is also looking to build more schools because of the expected growth in the county. Coordinator of Planning and Intergovernmental Relations Head Jim Fossa said that Clay County expects to need five to seven new schools in the next five to 10 years due to growth in Clay County.
Here’s a look at how that half-cent sales tax will benefit area schools.
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It is the second major funding boost that Clay County voters will have approved for schools in recent elections. Two years ago, voters there approved a property tax increase to establish and fund the school district’s police force.
Clay County’s half-cent sales tax was put on the November ballot after a legal battle last year to put it up for vote in 2019 was rejected, a similar path that Duval County Public Schools traveled in its attempt to get a half-cent sales tax for schools voted on last year.
On Tuesday night, voters in Duval County also 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.