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Guest Commentary: School sales tax vote demonstrates our community’s commitment to children, future

November 14, 2018
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer


School Board Chair



On behalf of the 84,000-plus students in our public schools, we want to say THANK YOU for making children a priority.

Increasing taxes is never an easy topic and we truly appreciate those in Lee County who recognized the importance of this issue. You did your homework, becoming educated about a complicated budget and budget process, and making an informed decision.

Over a 10-year period, the extra half-cent will add up to an estimated $754.8 million in capital funding for our schools. These dollars will build new schools to keep up with student enrollment projections, maintain and renovate the schools we already have, provide needed safety and security improvements and upgrade technology to keep our students competitive with their peers around the world.

The way we spend sales tax proceeds will be carefully scrutinized and fully transparent. An Independent Sales Surtax Oversight Committee, made up of 15 members and two alternates will be appointed in December. Members will have full access to all sales tax documentation and transactions. Quarterly, they will review and provide reports for the public about District use of sales tax proceeds. We invite you to apply and be part of the committee at

The sales tax vote was never just about the money, though. It was about providing a high quality public education system for our community. A system, which will bolster our local economy, attract high-wage positions, strengthen property values and reduce crime.

We do not take lightly the responsibility you have placed in us, nor we will we waste this opportunity. We are committed to supporting this community, and helping every child in Lee County reach his or her highest potential.



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