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Jax Daily Record Monday, Jun. 13, 202201:56 PM EST

Jacksonville Civic Council supports school tax increase

A referendum on the Aug. 23 ballot could authorize Duval County Public Schools to collect a 1-mill ad valorem rate.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

The Jacksonville Civic Council announced its support June 13 of the upcoming Duval County Public Schools referendum to increase the property tax millage.

The referendum will be on the ballot in the first election Aug. 23. It asks voters to decide whether the Duval County School District can levy an ad valorem operating millage of 1 mill annually to attract and retain teachers and staff through additional compensation, enhancement of art, music and athletic programs and provide proportionate funding for charter schools.

“Strong public schools are crucial to the sustainability and improvement of our city, our local economy and our economic and business opportunities,” Jeanne Miller, Jacksonville Civic Council CEO and president, said in a news release.

“We acknowledge the data, and our membership is in full support of investing in high-quality public education for all students in Duval County.”

The millage increase would generate an estimated $81.8 million annually to help Duval County compete with other counties as well as other professions and jobs. The council also supported the half-penny sales tax increase to improve Duval County’s facilities and infrastructure.

While the group supports the upcoming referendum, it will be seeking a full, public and transparent review of the spending and allocation of all federal, state and local funds collected by the public schools district.

“Jacksonville is at a turning point for producing and maximizing work force talent and readiness needed now and long into the future,” Eric Mann, JCC board chair, said in the release. “We are at a critical juncture of teacher shortages and the loss of tenured teachers has a long-term and direct impact on student outcomes.”

The Jacksonville Civic Council is a nonpartisan group of business leaders whose goal is to help resolve community issues by studying a problem, proposing solutions, advocating for change and providing resources and support.

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