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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

When is a majority in Florida not a majority?



When you need 60 percent, that's when.

And Florida school district folks are getting concerned that they might need to meet that bar in the future when they seek local sales tax increases to support needed capital projects.

Their worries spiked Friday morning, after a Polk district official noticed the referral to committee of a Senate bill that would change the referendum requirements for such local taxing efforts.

SB 1100, filed by Sen. Jeff Brandes in December, would change the passing level for the sales tax votes -- which a growing number of districts rely upon -- from a simple majority to 60 percent. The bill, which Rep. Blaise Ingoglia has also filed in the House, would similarly increase the vote requirement for referenda on transportation taxes, small county surtaxes and indigent care surtaxes.

If approved, the measure would hold these taxes at the same balloting standard as constitutional amendments. It does not, however, seek to do the same for elected officials.

That did not escape the notice of one school district leader, who quipped in an email that if this push succeeds, maybe all elections should require 60 percent.

[Last modified: Friday, January 8, 2016 11:52am]


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