What has it already financed, and what will it fund in the future?
For the past 10 years, the half-penny tax has raised $184 million for capital improvements, $61 million of which was paid by people who live outside of Leon County. The money was spent exactly as the Leon County School Board pledged.
These improvements include but are not limited to the new Bond Elementary; a portion of the funds to construct Montford and Conley; replacement of aging HVAC systems and roofing; and refurbished media centers, auditoriums and cafeterias. In addition, the tax has enabled elementary, middle and high school students to have on-campus access to relatively up-to-date computer equipment and has paid for hundreds of Promethean “smart” boards. Policy-makers, educators and employers consider technology an essential learning tool in today’s fast-changing high-tech world.
The extension is projected to generate $265 million over 15 years. Should it be approved, it will finance construction of new schools, several classroom wings, multi-use centers, gymnasiums, cutting-edge technology, energy efficient equipment to reduce electrical costs, and transportation needs, including vehicles that run on cleaner, less expensive compressed natural gas.