The Cobra Chronicle

  • September 20Homecoming Week (Oct. 22 - Oct. 26)

  • September 20SAT Prep Oct. 15 - Nov. 1 (Mon.-Thurs.) from 4-5 PM. Call (561) 491-8448 for more info.

A penny taxed is a penny earned

The+school+district+has+already+budgeted+some+of+its+share+of+sales+tax+money+for+technology+upgrades%2C+new+buses+and+maintenance+vehicles%2C+roof+replacements%2C+and+building+maintenance+at+many+schools.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

A penny taxed is a penny earned

The school district has already budgeted some of its share of sales tax money for technology upgrades, new buses and maintenance vehicles, roof replacements, and building maintenance at many schools.

The school district has already budgeted some of its share of sales tax money for technology upgrades, new buses and maintenance vehicles, roof replacements, and building maintenance at many schools.

The school district has already budgeted some of its share of sales tax money for technology upgrades, new buses and maintenance vehicles, roof replacements, and building maintenance at many schools.

The school district has already budgeted some of its share of sales tax money for technology upgrades, new buses and maintenance vehicles, roof replacements, and building maintenance at many schools.

Owen Tendrich, Opinion Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Lost in the grandiose drama that was the 2016 election were many equally important local issues. Chief among those for Palm Beach County voters was the so-called “penny sales tax.” It is easy to forget about ballot measures separate from selecting the next President of the United States, but that does not diminish the importance of accountability when it comes to raising taxes. Now that the measure has been approved by around 57 percent of voters, here is a breakdown of what will change.

Put simply, the counts sales tax rate will increase from 6 cents per dollar to 7 cents. The tax increase would only apply to the first $5,000 of a purchase. Products exempt from a sales tax include, but are not limited to groceries, medicine and residential rent.  This may seem like an insignificant increase, but the new tax rate is projected to raise $2.7 billion in new revenue. The school district will receive half of the revenue, the county government will get a third, and the remaining 17 percent will be distributed among the 39 municipalities proportional to their population.

“I voted for the sales tax increase,” said senior Alex Coffman. “My mom is an ESOL coordinator and I am a student, so I’ve experienced the need for renovation firsthand.”

How will the government ensure that tax money is properly spent? The county has already released a detailed list of projects it plans to undertake over the next 10 years. An extensive network of safeguards that serve to deter mismanagement has been put in place. The Palm Beach County Commission has created a 19-member committee headed by business leaders to oversee the county’s share of revenue. The Palm Beach County School Board has established a similar committee, and individual municipalities are required to establish one as well. Additionally, the county’s clerk, comptroller, and inspector generals will probe expenditures for misuse.

“I am excited the voters decided to invest in the community,” county administrator Verdenia Baker told the Sun Sentinel. “The oversight committees will ensure we are spending the funds as we promised we would spend them.”

County leaders seem to be turning their gratitude into action. Though it only began receiving the new revenue this month, the school district used about $43 million in existing funds in the final weeks of 2016 to greenlight several projects, including investments in new roofs, buses and interactive projectors. Significant renovations will ramp up throughout 2017, with the district planning to replace air conditioning systems and roofs, and repair decaying walls and floors. A whopping seven schools, at least 50 years old, will be completely replaced, with work slated to commence within the next two to three years.

“I’m really excited for the kids and teachers,” Dr. Robert Avossa, superintendent of schools for Palm Beach County, told WPBF news following the passage of the tax. “We will be able to invest those dollars into our own backyard. I think we did a good job getting the word out about the sales tax.”

Not all are pleased by the increased sales tax, however. Ax the Tax, a group that rallied support against the proposal, believes that the “one penny” campaign is misleading. They argue that the proposal is actually a 17% hike. Per the school district, a house with a median income of $52,878 could pay $129.03 more every year. Many opponents are frustrated that the county is quick to raise taxes without attempting to cut wasteful spending first.

“Which is greater, a penny or $2.7 billion?” wrote Sid Dinerstein, former county Republican Party Chairman who vehemently opposed the tax hike. “If you live in Palm Beach county they’re exactly the same. Our county Commissioners and School Board Trustees have decided that raising our Sales Tax to extract $2.7 billion from our pockets is much easier if you call it a “penny” tax and not a $2.7 BILLION, 17% Sales Tax hike.”

Regardless of opinion about the sales tax increase, it is nevertheless important to remember that our local and county governments are the closest to the citizenry. It is the responsibility of the citizenry to monitor the actions of government in order to hold it accountable. Visit http://maps.co.palm-beach.fl.us/cwgis/?app=surtax for detailed information about improvements scheduled to be completed across the county.

 

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • News

    Congratulations to Mrs. Turner and Dr. Pierre

  • News

    r/toxic

  • A penny taxed is a penny earned

    News

    “Plane Pull” to benefit Special Olympics of Florida

  • A penny taxed is a penny earned

    News

    Prosthetic progress

  • A penny taxed is a penny earned

    News

    Zoo’s harsh reality

  • A penny taxed is a penny earned

    News

    Out-of-this-world accommodations

  • A penny taxed is a penny earned

    News

    Yuda bands

  • A penny taxed is a penny earned

    News

    Boynton Beach Mall mourns store losses

  • A penny taxed is a penny earned

    News

    Tablets vs. Textbooks

  • A penny taxed is a penny earned

    News

    Storms are coming

Navigate Right
The student news site of Park Vista Community High School
A penny taxed is a penny earned