Have you seen the commercials on television? Noted individuals from Mayor John Delaney and Sheriff Nat Glover to a former Duval County Superintendent have joined forces to support the half penny sales tax amendment.
Known as the Half Penny tax, the key amendment requests Duval County citizens vote on a referendum to approve a half-cent sales tax to update local public schools. The Duval Citizens for Better Schools Half-Penny Campaign, consists of a local consortium of local community activist, school board members, council members and business executives such as Warren Jones, Matt Carlucci, Martha Barrett among others. They recently held a news conference to remind voters to find the referendum on the back of the ballot, near the bottom. The campaign is concerned with the position of the referendum on the ballot and is scurrying to make sure voters are aware of the location on the ballot and how important this tax is to students in Duval County.
The citizens-based coalition was formed to support passage of the referendum that reports that Duval County schools are the oldest in Florida and on average are 44-years old that require urgent repairs. Many of the buildings are dilapidated, power boxes exploding, ceilings falling, unsafe stairs are off limits, and air conditioning units aren’t working. Also, there are 500 portables with paper thin walls and buildings with floor to ceiling windows, giving students no place to safely hide during a school attack. While news reporters state that record voting is expected between now and November 3rd, the Duval Citizens for Better Schools is rallying for the half-penny tax to raise approximately $1.9 billion over its 15-year life.