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Orange County Public Schools approves sales tax referendum to support district improvements

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla.The Orange County Public Schools Board voted unanimously to approve a half-cent sales tax that could be included on the November election ballot.

The purpose of the half-cent sales tax is to raise additional funds for infrastructure improvements within their schools, including building improvements, air conditioning improvements, etc.

If ultimately approved in November, the district says it could raise $350 million a year and fund infrastructure projects for the next decade.

“School districts determine the trajectory of a community’s growth, of a city’s growth. People come to your city because of the schools,” said Orange County School Board Member Vicki-Elaine Felder, who represents District Five.

“This is the only source of income we have,” says board chair Teresa Jacobs.

The district said a previous half-cent sales tax has supported renovations and improvements in 136 schools since 2002.

“50% of this will come from tourists, so the burden is not solely on the shoulders of residents,” said board member Karen Caster Dentel, Dist. 6.

It won’t be officially voted on until the Orange County Commission approves the measure. They still have to vote on it.