Schools fear tax failure would cut to the core

Published 8:25 pm Monday, June 4, 2007

By Staff
Escambia County voters will go to the polls Tuesday to vote on a school tax renewal that has already failed once.
If it fails again, school officials are afraid the loss will be a big slice of their local revenue pie.
School officials said the tax is still needed, not only for the schools but also for the entire county as it looks to attract new industries.
A 3-mill district tax and a 1-mill countywide tax are on the ballot. Both taxes are about 80 years old.
The 3-mill district tax represents about 9 percent of the total local revenues Escambia County schools receive, district finance officer Julie Madden said.
County schools stand to lose $600,000 from the district tax and $200,000 from the countywide tax if the taxes fail.
City schools stand to lose about $70,000 from the countywide tax. A district tax for city schools passed last year.
Voters will be divided among districts in the county for this vote, unlike last fall's vote. An analysis of last year's election returns shows that none of the school districts would have passed the 3-mill tax even if the vote had been divided last year.
Each vote counts for the district the voter lives in and not for other districts.
County school officials have said they would use the money for additional teaching units and capital improvement projects.

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