Home 2018-10-16T11:17:06+00:00
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Increase the sales tax in Martin County by a half-cent, from 6% to 6.5% to fund school capital projects.

How Much Money Would be Raised?

Approximately $16 million annually for seven years
($112 million in total)

What Would it Pay For?

Security upgrades and enhancements at all schools, replacing storm-damaged Jensen Beach Elementary, replacing functionally obsolete Palm City Elementary, and addressing the $98 million backlog of district-wide school maintenance and repair projects.

When Would it Expire?

The proposal calls for the half-cent sales tax to expire after seven years.

Who Would Pay?

With a sales tax, everyone who purchases taxable goods contributes, rather than relying solely on local property taxes. Remember, sales tax only applies to the first $5,000 for large purchases, and you won’t pay any sales tax on exempt items such as groceries and medications.

How Much Will I Pay?

It’s estimated a family of four with an average income of $50,000 would pay an additional $64 over the course of a year.

$64 per year
On The Ballot

The half-cent sales tax will raise $112 million for Martin County schools over seven years, to provide security upgrades and enhancements and essential school renovations and repair needs!

Don’t You Have Enough Money Already?

In 2008 and 2009 property taxes were reduced, resulting in a cumulative loss of $91,676,207 in capital funding over the past decade and a growing backlog of $98 million in critical capital needs. Additionally, the State of Florida specifies capital account funding from property taxes, and the State has set the maximum allowed amount at $31.6 million annually, which is insufficient to keep pace with ongoing deterioration and new, underfunded state mandates. The only way to raise additional funds is with a local sales tax increase, which requires voter approval.

Don’t You Have Enough Money Already?

In 2008 and 2009 property taxes were reduced, resulting in a cumulative loss of $91,676,207 in capital funding over the past decade and a growing backlog of $98 million in critical capital needs. Additionally, the State of Florida specifies capital account funding from property taxes, and the State has set the maximum allowed amount at $31.6 million annually, which is insufficient to keep pace with ongoing deterioration and new, underfunded state mandates. The only way to raise additional funds is with a local sales tax increase, which requires voter approval.

$91,676,207 TOTAL CAPITAL FUNDING LOST

Learn more about the Capital Budget

5

IMPORTANT
THINGS TO
REMEMBER

  • Money raised will pay for:
    • Replacing two damaged & obsolete elementary schools
    • Completing $15M school security upgrades & enhancements
    • addressing the $98M backlog of school repairs & renovations
  • November 6th referendum will raise $16M each year for seven years
  • Everyone that purchases taxable goods will contribute, even visitors to Martin County
  • Only way to increase capital funding is with voter approval
  • All money raised stays in Martin County!

FAQs

What is the proposal? 2018-09-05T20:11:00+00:00

On Nov. 6, Martin County voters will be asked to increase the sales tax by a half-percent, from 6 percent to 6.5 percent, for a period of seven years, starting on January 1, 2019.

How much money would the sales tax increase raise? 2018-09-05T20:11:33+00:00

The sales tax increase would generate an estimated $16 million annually, money that by law must stay right here in Martin County schools.

Why is a half-cent sales tax increase needed? 2018-09-05T20:12:01+00:00

Public education funding across Florida was cut during the recession and has not been fully restored. It’s estimated that Martin County schools have lost $91.7 million in capital funding over the past decade, money that is needed to replace two damaged and obsolete elementary schools, address a back log of school repairs and renovations and complete security upgrades and enhancements.

How would Martin County schools spend the extra tax revenue? 2018-09-05T20:12:33+00:00

The school district would replace the aging Jensen Beach and Palm City elementary schools, as well as repair and renovate additional school buildings. Proceeds from the sales tax also will be spent on security upgrades and enhancements.

What items would be taxed? 2018-09-05T20:13:02+00:00

The higher sales tax rate would only apply to taxable items like clothing, appliances, furniture, household items, sporting goods and certain services. Food and medicine, which are tax-exempt under Florida law, still would not be taxed.

Who would pay? 2018-09-05T20:13:34+00:00

Everyone that purchases taxable goods will contribute, even visitors to Martin County.

How much will I pay? 2018-09-13T17:29:35+00:00

It’s estimated a family of four with an average income of $50,000 would pay an additional $64 over the course of a year.

How does Martin County’s sales tax rate compare to other Florida counties? 2018-09-05T20:14:06+00:00

Florida has 67 counties, and Martin is one of just six that levy the state minimum sales tax rate of 6 percent (the others are Broward, Citrus, Collier, Lee and Okaloosa). Even with the half-cent increase, Martin County’s sales tax rate would still fall below the state average of 6.829 percent.

How does this sales tax proposal differ from the tax measure on the August primary ballot? 2018-09-05T20:14:34+00:00

In August, Martin County residents voted on a half-mill property tax increase that would strengthen the school district’s operational budget to attract and retain teachers, enhance mental health programs and bolster school safety. The sales tax measure would provide additional funding for the capital budget, which pays for things like construction, maintenance, security and technology.

How will voters know Martin County schools are spending the money wisely? 2018-09-05T20:15:12+00:00

The school district is required to provide annual financial reports to county residents to ensure transparency and fiscal accountability.

Earlier this year, the school district participated in a comprehensive audit conducted on behalf of the Florida Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA).  The audit, which was conducted in accordance with Florida Statute s. 212.055(10) for the purposes of placing the half-cent sales surtax on voters’ ballots, indicated that policies and internal control structures for District programs are “strong.”

Additional audit results indicated the following:

  • The District has used proven contracting and management techniques to bring [construction] projects in at or near originally estimated costs
  • Purchasing policies, procedures and systems are operating effectively
  • The District’s website is robust, offering a significant amount of financial, procurement and performance information to the public
How will Martin County Schools benefit from my vote? 2018-09-05T20:15:39+00:00

Investments in education pay dividends in the form of economic development. Studies show a strong correlation between communities with high-quality schools and higher salaries, better jobs and healthy economic growth. Today’s students represent the next generation of leaders, so a quality education today represents a higher quality of life tomorrow for the residents of Martin County.

EVENTS

Learn More About the Proposed Half-Cent Sales Tax Referendum at These Upcoming Events

September 17, 2018 presentations:

  • Palm City Elementary School Advisory Committee from 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
  • Palm City Elementary PTA Executive Board at 6:30 p.m.
  • Palm City Elementary Town Hall Meeting at 7:00 p.m.

October 9, 2018 presentations:

  • 11:30 a.m. at Hobe Sound Library in the Community Room
  • 3:00 p.m. at Blake Library in the Stuart John F. and Rita M. Armstrong Wing

October 10, 2018 presentations:

  • 10:30 a.m. at Elisabeth Lahti Library in the Community Room

October 11, 2018 presentations:

  • 12:30 p.m. at Hoke Library in the Community Room
  • 3:00 p.m. at Peter and Julie Cummings Library in the Donahue Community Room
  • 5:00 p.m. Town Hall Meeting at South Fork High School in the Auditorium

October 12, 2018 presentations:

  • 1:00 p.m. at Robert Morgade Library in the Anderson Community Room

October 16, 2018

  • 11 a.m. Martin County Retired Educators Association – Southern Pig & Cattle Restaurant

October 17

  • 2:10 p.m. SAC Meeting – Jensen Beach Elementary School

October 17, 2018 presentations:

  • 2:10 p.m. Jensen Beach Elementary School Advisory Committee Meeting in the Media Center

October 18, 2018 presentations:

  • 4:30 p.m. Jensen Beach Elementary Parent Town Hall Meeting in the Media Center

October 18

  • 12 p.m. Jensen Beach Chamber Lunch Presentation – Hutchinson Shores

October 18

  • 12 p.m. Martin County Taxpayers Association Lunch – Dolphin Bar

October 23, 2018 presentations:

  • 6:00 p.m. SAC Meeting at Felix A. Williams Elementary School

ENDORSEMENTS

The political arm of the Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce
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