On the ballot: Manatee County to vote if school funding mill tax continues

Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — As Tampa Bay voters decide politics and policy on Tuesday, Manatee County voters will decide if Nov. 2 means a continuation to a mill tax funding county’s schools.

The mill tax is a property tax that was originally passed in 2018. Currently it is a one mill ad valorem millage, according to officials. Should voters approve the continuation of the tax, the tax bill will not go up, it’ll just be extended through June 30, 2025.

According to Manatee County Schools, the mill tax has been used to fund programs for enhancing STEM programs, preparing students for jobs, funding additional instructional time, and attracting high-quality teachers. School officials are pitching the continued funding as a way to have the improvements they’ve made so far keep going.

The ballot language makes it clear that the goal of the continued funding is to help with student achievement and to retain and hire talented teachers.

Shall the School Board of Manatee County continue the current one (1) mill ad valorem millage
from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2025, as overseen by the Citizens’ Financial Oversight
Committee, to increase student achievement through more instructional time and support;
recruit and retain teachers and staff with competitive salaries; expand Career and Technical
Education, STEM and Visual/Performing Arts programs; and to distribute proportional funds
to Charter Schools pursuant to Florida Statute 1011.71.

BALLOT TEXT: Manatee School Board Ad Valorem Tax Continuation

Manatee Schools documents say the referendum funding “strengthens Manatee County’s largest employer,” being the school system. Right now, the school district says they employ 6,000 faculty and staff.

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