There is only one source available to provide the funds needed for safe, secure, and modern schools in Duval County. It's the half-penny sales tax that will appear on the November 3rd General Election ballot.
Impact fees don't work because Jacksonville doesn't impose them on new construction.
The Florida Lottery won't work. While our school district does receive some money from the lottery, it's a very small portion of the total budget, and the state mandates almost all lottery money be used for specific programs. The lottery funds aren't available for maintenance, renovation or school construction.
It is for those very reasons that Tampa (Hillsborough County) and Orlando (Orange County) voters have invested in their students and schools through similar local referendums. Right next door, St. Johns County is providing safe, secure and modern schools for its students with the optional half-penny. Clay County has a similar tax, and other smaller counties in Florida are choosing to invest in schools to better prepare their students.
The funds raised from the half-penny will produce $1.7 billion over 15 years to provide safety and security upgrades at every school, major renovations or full school replacement of some schools, and consolidation of schools into more efficient facilities. The half-penny will be used to construct safe, secure and modern school buildings to enhance learning.
To ensure that the half-penny revenue is spent correctly, a community based, 24 member Citizens Oversight Committee will monitor and review all expenditures according to The Master Facility Plan.