HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
How Will the Funds
It will meet our schools’ most critical needs! The funds will be used to make our schools safer and enhance mental health programs across our district. It will also be used to provide much needed supplemental pay and professional development for teachers and staff, including incentives to recruit and retain quality teachers. Voters will continue to have input on how the funds will be spent.
How Much Money
Will it Raise?
Approximately $11.2 million annually for 4 years
It stays right here! Because Martin County voters will control where the funds from this half-millage increase go, 100% of it will go the Martin County School District to be used at schools in Martin County, only.
Will I Pay?
Less than you might think! For the owner of a median priced single-family home in Martin County, with a taxable value of $250,000, a half-millage increase equals about $10 per month.
The Operating Budget Isn’t Enough
to Cover Underfunded State Mandates
Like all school districts in Florida, during the recession and in the years following, the Martin County School District endured the effects of major state budget cuts. Those funds were never replaced yet educational needs continue to grow. For example, the underfunded state mandate for security enhancements that resulted from the Parkland tragedy earlier this year.
Voter Approval is the Only Way
to Increase Operating Funds
Currently the state of Florida takes 41.5% of our collected property taxes, leaving Martin County with 58.5%. The only way to increase our operating funds is through special initiatives like this half-mill property tax initiative, where 100% of the funds generated will stay in Martin County. If approved by the voters, the funds will be used to enhance school safety and mental health programs, as well as attract and retain high quality teachers. These critical needs fall under the district’s operating budget, which isn’t sufficient to adequately cover these needs. A half-mill increase will help fill the gap.
A Local Tax is the Best Way
to Ensure the Funds Stay Local
The benefit of a Martin County millage increase is that it ensures the funds stay here in Martin County.This half-mill increase will go to Martin County schools only, benefiting the students, teachers and staff of our local school system.
A Small Property Tax Increase
Equals Big Results
A half-mill property tax increase has a small impact on the typical homeowner in Martin County (about $10 a month for homes with a taxable value of $250,000). Additionally, the half-mill increase will expire in four years. The vote will make an immediate impact without a long-term commitment by tax payers.
What You Need to Know about the Martin County
Half-Mill Property Tax Initiative
Less than you might think! First, a half-mill property tax increase has a small impact on the typical homeowner in Martin County (about $10 a month for a home with a taxable value of $250,000). Additionally, the half-mill increase will expire in four years. Therefore, the vote will make an immediate impact without a long-term commitment by tax payers.
To meet our schools’ most critical needs! The funds will be used for safety and security, including additional Security Officers, recruit and retain teachers, academic initiatives, additional mental health programs and professional development and training for all staff.
Approximately $11.2 million annually for 4 years
It stays right here in Martin County! Because Martin County will control where the funds from this half-millage increase goes, 100% of it will go the Martin County School District to be used at schools in Martin County only. These are our dollars, for our district!
Due to budget cuts enacted by the State Legislature in 2008, state funding was drastically reduced for all school districts in Florida. A decade later, districts continue to face a recession-era mentality and operate under strict budget parameters. This year, Florida lawmakers increased general education funding by only 47 cents per student for the coming year. As a result, the Martin County School District currently faces an operating budget shortfall. The half-mill property tax increase will help close the gap to ensure our schools’ critical needs will be met.
The Martin County School District would manage the money. To ensure smart spending, the district will go through an annual audit by the State of Florida. Additionally, an internal auditor will perform audits more frequently to reassure voters the money is used as promised.
A successful, high quality public education system is a major drive of economic development. In fact, some research shows that education may be THE most important single economic driver in a community. To be specific, it promotes higher incomes, better jobs, and healthy growth. Quality public schools increase property values as well. Furthermore, businesses, professionals and highly skilled workers relocate to communities based on the merits of the school system. A high-quality school system benefits everyone’s bottom line! Consider this:
- Our property values are at risk when the education system is at risk. The quality of schools directly impacts our property values.
- The children who sit in our classes today are the people who will someday handle your medications, bank deposits, and repair your car. The quality of their education will directly affect your quality of life in the future.
- Our parents, grandparents, and neighbors chose to invest in education for each of us – we now have the obligation to invest in the next generation.
- Additionally, the half-mill tax means: 1) safer schools for both students and teachers, 2) mental health programs with the potential to keep our community safer, 3) students who are better prepared for college and the workforce, and 4) attracting and retaining businesses and their employees fuels economic growth and tax revenue.
All Martin County schools will benefit from these funds.
Learn More About the Proposed Half-Mill Property Tax Initiative at These Upcoming Events
- June 27: Presentation: Stuart Chamber of Commerce Local Government and Transportation Committee
- June 28: Presentation: Martin County REALTORS of the Treasure Coast
- July 12: WQCS 88.9 FM (NPR affiliate) – Superintendent interview
- July 12: Presentation: Martin County Taxpayers Association Board
- July 12: Presentation: Hobe Sound Chamber
- July 12: Presentation: Indiantown Village Council
- July 16: WSTU 1450 AM – Superintendent interview
- July 25: Presentation: Stuart City Hall
- July 25: Presentation: Palm City Chamber
- July 30: Town Hall Meeting: South Fork High at 5 p.m.
- Aug 1: Presentations:
- 10:30 a.m. at Elisabeth Lahti Library: Indiantown
- 1 p.m. at Hoke Library in Jensen Beach
- 3 p.m. at Robert Morgade Library in Stuart
- 5 p.m. at Martin County High School
- 7 p.m. Jensen Beach High School
- August 2: Presentations:
- 10:30 a.m. at Blake Library in Stuart
- 1 p.m. at Peter and Julie Cummings Library in Palm City
- 7 p.m.: Snug Harbour HOA Stuart
- August 3: Presentations:
- 10:30 a.m.: Hobe Sound Public Library
- August 11 at 10:30 a.m.: Monthly meeting: Democratic Party of Martin County
- August 13 at 6 p.m.: Education Foundation of Martin County
- Presentation: Republican Club of Martin County (TBD)
- Presentation: Jensen Beach Chamber (TBD)
- Presentation: Veterans organizations (TBD)
- Presentation: Historic Downtown Stuart Business Association (TBD)
- Presentation: Economic Council of Martin County (TBD)
- Presentation: Stuart Chamber of Commerce
- Presentation: Indiantown Chamber (TBD)