Advertisement
  1. Hernando

Hernando School Board eyes 2020 general election for possible tax increase vote

Hernando County School District, 919 N Broad St., Brooksville. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)
Published Jun. 11

BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School Board is eyeing the 2020 general election for a ballot measure that would have voters decide whether to raise taxes to help fund local schools.

The School Board gave consensus during a Tuesday workshop for staff to continue informing the board and planning an information campaign for a millage increase with November 2020 in mind. The ballot language would need to be finalized by next June, Hernando County Supervisor of Elections Shirley Anderson told the board.

Board members favored the general election because it offers a longer timeline for informing voters about where the increased funding would go, they said, and because the November general will presumably draw the highest turnout of next year's elections. Anderson said the board would not have to pay to put the measure on the general ballot.

The board discussed, but still hasn't settled on, a number of other aspects of the possible ballot measure. Those include how many mills the proposed raise will be. A mill is a unit of property tax measurement equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property's assessed value. The board could ask voters to approve an increase of as much as three mills, though several board members suggested they'd favor a one-mill proposal.

A one-mill bump would add an estimated $10 million to the School District budget each year for the four years it would stay in effect.

Where that money would go is also still under discussion. A presentation that district staff gave to the board Tuesday made a suggestion for how it would break down: About $7.5 million annually to make salaries more competitive and add personnel, $1 million each for student mental health services and school safety improvements, and $500,000 for other programs.

Board members wanted to spend more time adjusting those numbers, they said, and they spent much of the discussion batting around opinions on just how specific they should get in naming the funding destinations. Board member Jimmy Lodato advocated for detailed descriptions of where the money would go, saying that it's more likely to persuade tax-skeptical voters, while Superintendent John Stratton cautioned against getting so specific that the district couldn't adjust for unexpected costs later on.

Contact Jack Evans at jevans@tampabay.com. Follow @JackHEvans.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Challenger K-8 School students, from left, Jeremy Gonzalez, 13, Jackson Hoyt, 12, Benjamin Harper, 12, and Gianni Labdar, 12, finish meals consisting of fresh salads, quesadillas and nachos during a lunch service on Oct. 15 at the school in Spring Hill during the county's Fresh from Florida Plate Day event. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Starting a farm-to-school initiative has been more complicated than district officials expected.
  2. Disco Freak will perform music from the 1970s in a free concert Oct. 27 at the South Holiday Library. Pasco County Libraries
    Things to do in Pasco and Hernando counties
  3. Hernando County sheriff’s sergeant  Louis “Lou” Genovese died Saturday after struggling for weeks with an undisclosed medical condition, according to the Sheriff's Office. He was 41. HERNANDO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE  |  Hernando County Sheriff's Office
    Sergeant Louis “Lou” Genovese, a deputy since 2006, was 41.
  4. Hernando County community news Tara McCarty
    News and notes from Hernando County
  5. Dr. Manjusri Vennamaneni (center) was awarded Businesswoman of the Year by the Indo-US Chamber of Commerce. With her are Matt Romeo, President of PrimeCare (left), and Dr. Pariksith Singh, CEO, Access Health Care Physicians. Vince Vanni
    News and notes on local businesses
  6. Spring Hill First United Methodist Church treasurer Theresa Smith and her daughter, Chelsea, hand out treats to children last October during the church’s Trunk or Treat event. First United Methodist Church Spring Hill
  7. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2018) Hernando County School District office, 919 N Broad St., Brooksville
    Hernando County debates the pros and cons of superintendent John Stratton’s recommendation.
  8. The 53rd-annual Rattlesnake Festival will be held Oct. 19-20 at the Pasco County Fairgrounds in Dade City. The weekend event, kicks off with a prelude concert featuring the Bellamy Brothers on Friday, and raises money for the Thomas Promise Foundation. The foundation provides meals for Pasco County school children who do not have regular access to nutritional meals on weekends when school is not in session. "LUIS SANTANA  |  TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The annual festival offers a family-friendly outing while raising money to feed school children in need.
  9. Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. Courtesy of Lynn Cristina
    Dad’s car is a spotless, no-fun zone. As primary chauffeur, my car is the kitchen, playroom, storage container and sometimes even the minute clinic.
  10. Mama is available for adoption. Hernando County Animal Services
    Hernando County shelter pet offerings
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement