Sarasota County School Tax Referendum

Alexis Jones '22

No one wants to pay extra taxes, but the voters of Sarasota County have supported their schools with exactly that since 2002 through a referendum vote.

That referendum vote on whether to pay extra taxes to fund schools happens every two years, and this year takes place on March 8th. The funds are used by the school district for programs that include athletics, music, dance, and art.

The referendum also pays for many academic programs including Summer Learning Programs, Reading Recovery teachers, and allows students to avoid the summer slide in learning. Funding for Technology Support Professionals in each school is also provided.

Sarasota County is one of only two school districts in the state to be graded “A” by the Florida department of education every year since grading began in 2004. If renewed, this voter-approved referendum will not increase taxes, as 1 mill has been in place since 2002, for every $1,000 in-home assessment, there will be a $1 tax.

If the referendum is renewed, it will additionally be used for enhancing safety and security at schools; paying teacher, guidance counselor, and athletic trainer salaries; supporting Pre-K and early learning opportunities; and keeping the added 30 minutes of instruction per school day that equals 18 extra days a year of instruction.