In 2018, the citizens of Lee County accredited a 50 percent-penny product sales tax to be utilised to support the development of and excellence in the Faculty District of Lee County. This tax surcharge is accepted for 10 decades, and is projected to increase somewhere around $1 billion all through the 10 years.
To assure accountability to the voters, the School District created the Unbiased Sales Surtax Oversight Committee (ISSOC) to oversee the utilization of these funds in accordance with the voter’s’ intentions. For the previous 3 several years, the ISSOC has met quarterly to give oversight and direction to the School District. As representatives of the ISSOC, we’d like to retain the general public knowledgeable relating to the effects these funds are having on your universities.
Since inception, the product sales tax has produced approximately $275 million for Lee County Schools. As proposed in the ballot initiative, a significant portion of these resources are provided by website visitors to our region who spend revenue tax when browsing Florida. With the exception of the pause in travel thanks to COVID-19 in the 1st half of 2020, getaway vacation to Southwest Florida has been booming, as exemplified by history numbers at our regional airports. Fortunately, these guests are strengthening our regional financial system and our colleges.
The $275 million has been put to excellent use in strengthening your educational system. As our inhabitants proceeds to increase, new educational facilities are desired. The gross sales tax has aided create Gateway High College, the new Lehigh Acres Middle University and Amanecer Elementary which opens in August of 2023. The product sales tax has also supported the renovation of Lehigh Acres Senior Significant College, Veterans Park Academy for the Arts, Riverdale Significant College commencing in January and the remodeling of Fort Myers Tech. Above $81 million has been focused to new construction so much.
The surtax also funds desired cash routine maintenance projects, and has benefited each individual college in the district. These upgrades contain new roofs, up-to-date air conditioning, successful lighting, drainage and landscaping, electrical updates, included walkways, and a great deal extra. Over $108 million has been invested, decreasing the amount of deferred maintenance essential.
Security and safety is a further crucial area for financial investment, and is desired now far more than ever. Nearly $70 million has been invested in trying to keep our college students and instructors secure. These include things like different physical boundaries to entry, enhanced digital camera checking, restricting doorway access, ID actions, and crisis notification methods. and so forth. Due to the mother nature of the challenges, the district does not share the hardening steps that they are getting.
Eventually, your revenue taxes are staying applied to bolster our technological innovation infrastructure throughout the system. This was significantly useful when substantial figures of laptops had been desired for our college students mastering almost, but also to reinforce distant teaching necessities. In addition, in-classroom sensible boards and modernized AV gear are earning our educational institutions the envy of the condition. $83 million has been used on improving upon technologies.
This progress and advancement isn’t attainable without the foresight of the voters of Lee County to commit in our universities. This initiative offloads quite a few of the charges to site visitors, however our full and part time people are superior supported by educational facilities that make graduates completely ready for secondary schooling or to join the workforce quickly. This strengthens families, enhances academic results, makes sure a more resilient economy, and proceeds to make Southwest Florida a great place to live, get the job done, enjoy and retire.
Thank you for your continuing help of our colleges, and you should know that we are here to be certain accountability with your investments.
Impartial Gross sales Surtax Oversight Committee (ISSOC).
This posting at first appeared on Fort Myers Information-Push: Tax surcharge has been constructive financial commitment for Lee County public colleges