A 1/2 cent sales tax is proposed to fund new schools

LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) — A proposal to create a half-cent sales tax in Columbia County to fund schools will go to a vote in November, the Lake City Humane Society sees its budget increase and the Florida Gateway College bass fishing teams placed in a national tournament, all in this week’s Columbia County report.

Half cent sales tax

A political action committee spreads the word about a group of a half-cent tax on the November ballot aimed at improving schools in the county.

The money generated from the sales tax would be used by the school district to demolish four schools, build two new schools, and upgrade 14 others. Residents and tourists would pay the tax, which developers say could generate more than $6 million for the district.

The schools to be cut are Melrose Park, Eastside, Five Points and Niblack Elementary Schools. District officials say all schools will benefit from facility upgrades, such as additional parking lots, new wings, multi-purpose buildings, as well as renovated offices, locker rooms and auditoriums.

The president of the tax-backing PAC says the infrastructure problems facing the Columbia County school district won’t go away if people don’t vote for the tax.

“The reality is that by having a sales tax, it’s a fair tax that everyone across the board can pay, including about 30 percent of visitors who pass through Columbia County each year,” Dennille said. Decker, President. “It’s just a huge way for us to spread the burden.”

A half-penny tax costs $0.10 on a $20 purchase. District officials say a family of four with a median income of $56,000 would pay about $6 a month.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF THE BALLOT: HALF-CENT SURCHARGE TO FUND SCHOOL FACILITIES, SECURITY, SECURITY AND TECHNOLOGY UPGRADES

WILL THE COLUMBIA COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD BE REQUIRED TO CHARGE A HALF PERCENT (0.5%) SALES SURCHARGE FOR A PERIOD OF TWENTY (20) YEARS FOR THE ACQUISITION, CONSTRUCTION, RECONSTRUCTION, THE RENOVATION, REMODELING OR IMPROVEMENT OF SCHOOL FACILITIES, INCLUDING SAFETY AND SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS AND PURCHASE OF TECHNOLOGICAL EQUIPMENT, INCLUDING HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE. REVENUES COLLECTED WILL BE SHARED WITH ELIGIBLE CHARTER SCHOOLS BASED ON THEIR PROPORTIONAL SHARE OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT’S TOTAL ENROLLMENT.

_____ For the half cent tax against the half cent tax

_____ Against the fee of half a cent

Lake City Humane Society Budget Increase

The Lake City City Council has approved additional funding to help Human Society in times of need.

The board agreed to a two-year contract with the Humane Society, approving an annual budget of $180,000, which is $47,000 more than last year’s budget. The money will help cover the cost of animal care and control, including neutering and neutering surgeries, food, bedding and equipment.

RELATED: Lake City Humane Society has seen an increase in the number of animals entering

FGC Bass Fishing Team

One of Florida Gateway College’s three bass fishing teams placed second in the nation in a national tournament this weekend.

The students traveled to Winyah Bay in Georgetown, SC for the Strike King Bassmaster National Championship.

FGC Bass Fishing teammates Seth Slanker and Jackson Swisher place in national competition(CGF)

His teammates Jackson Swisher and Seth Slanker say knowing each other since they were kids has given them an edge in the competition.

“The two of us have been fishing together for so long it’s knocked us out of any other team.” said Seth Slanker. “I felt a bit like because we had fished together for many years before.”

“If he’s having a bad day, I kind of have to, you know, step up a bit and if I’m having a bad day, he steps up,” Jackson Swisher explained. “It’s an important role, you know, just understanding how each of us works.”

The other two teams are Chase Hubble & Brent May and Zack Barrera & Bryson O’Steen.

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