Grumpy Old Teacher wants to gather his thoughts before opining, but one of his concerns has been to look at the actual language of the proposed sales tax referendum to fund the master capital plan that the Duval County School Board has developed.

First, the actual language proposed for the ballot:

OFFICIAL BALLOT

School District of Duval County, Florida

Special Election – November 5, 2019

School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax to Improve
Safety and the Learning Environment

To upgrade aging schools through repairs and modernization, to keep schools safe and to continue to promote a conducive learning environment, to improve technology, and to replace existing or build new schools, shall the Duval County School Board be authorized to levy a 15-year half-cent sales surtax, with expenditures based upon the Surtax Capital Outlay Plan, and monitored by an independent citizens committee?

                     _____ For the Half-Cent Tax

                     _____ Against the Half-Cent Tax

Now, the full ordinance as currently proposed:

  • Introduced by the Council President at the request of the Duval County School Board:
  • ORDINANCE 2019-380
  • AN ORDINANCE CALLING A SPECIAL ELECTION TO HOLD A REFERENDUM OF THE QUALIFIED ELECTORS RESIDING IN DUVAL COUNTY TO BE HELD ON nOVEMBER 5, 2019, ON THE QUESTION OF approving a HALF-cent School capital outlay sales SURTAX as levied by the Duval county school board pursuant to section 212.055(6), Florida Statutes; DIRECTING THE COUNCIL SECRETARY TO PROVIDE NOTICES TO STATE GOVERNMENT; PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
  •      WHEREAS, the Duval County School Board (“School Board”) has requested that the City Council call a referendum for approving the School Board’s levy of a half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax; and 
  •      WHEREAS, Section 212.055(6), Florida Statutes, authorizes the school board of a county to levy a half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax for the purposes set forth in that section to take effect only upon approval of a majority of the electors of the county voting in a referendum; and
  •      WHEREAS, the School Board has complied with all requirements set forth in Section 212.055(6), Florida Statutes, including adopting the resolution, attached hereto as Exhibit 1; and
  •      WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 212.055(6), Florida Statutes, only the City Council has the authority to place the referendum on the ballot; now therefore
  •      BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the City of Jacksonville:
  •      Section 1.      Findings. The Council finds as follows:
  •      The above recitals are true and correct and incorporated herein by reference.
  •      In particular, the Council finds that the School Board, pursuant to its authority under Section 212.055(6), Florida Statutes, has adopted a resolution levying a half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax, subject to approval by the voters in a referendum.  The School Board resolution is attached hereto as Exhibit 1 and incorporated by this reference.
  •      Section 2.      Adoption of School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax.
  • (a) Upon approval by a majority vote of the electors of Duval County and the satisfaction of all applicable state laws, the School Board’s half-cent surtax is levied at the rate of 0.5 percent per dollar on all transactions within Duval County subject to the State sales and use tax imposed by Chapter 212, Florida Statutes.
  • (b)  The School Board’s half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax shall take effect on January 1 of the year immediately following the referendum.
  • (c) The School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax shall be collected and administered as set forth in Section 212.054, Florida Statutes.
  • (d) The proceeds of the School Board’s half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax shall be remitted to the School Board pursuant to Section 212.055(6), Florida Statutes, and shall be implemented in accordance with the requirements of Sections 212.055(6) and 212.054, Florida Statutes, as directed by the Duval County School Board, as required by state law.
  • Section 3.      Referendum.
  • (a) At the request of the Duval County School Board, a special election of the qualified electors residing in Duval County, Florida is hereby called to be held on November 5, 2019, in order to hold a referendum to determine whether or not to approve the half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax as described herein.
  • (b)  The referendum election shall be held and conducted in the manner prescribed by law for holding referenda elections.
  • (c)  All qualified electors in Duval County shall be entitled and permitted to vote in the referendum election. 
  •      (d)  The Supervisor of Elections is authorized and directed, when printing the mail-in ballots and ballot strips for use in the voting machines for the referendum called for in this Section 3, to print the referendum question set forth in Section 5 hereof on said mail-in ballots and ballot strips at the appropriate place therefor.
  • Section 4.      Notice of Referendum. Notice of the referendum shall be given according to law in substantially the form set forth in Exhibit A to the attached Exhibit 1 and in the manner provided in Section 100.342, Florida Statutes. 
  • Section 5.      Referendum Question.  The form of the title and question for the School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax referendum shall be substantially as follows:
  • OFFICIAL BALLOT
  • School District of Duval County, Florida
  • Special Election – November 5, 2019
  • School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax to Improve
    Safety and the Learning Environment
  • To upgrade aging schools through repairs and modernization, to keep schools safe and to continue to promote a conducive learning environment, to improve technology, and to replace existing or build new schools, shall the Duval County School Board be authorized to levy a 15-year half-cent sales surtax, with expenditures based upon the Surtax Capital Outlay Plan, and monitored by an independent citizens committee?
  •                      _____ For the Half-Cent Tax
  •                      _____ Against the Half-Cent Tax
  • Section 6.      Referendum Results. If a majority of the votes cast in the referendum shall be for the half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax, the half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax shall be adopted and shall take effect as provided in the School Board’s resolution attached hereto as Exhibit 1. If less than a majority of the votes cast at the referendum shall be for the half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax, the half–cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax shall be defeated and shall not take effect.
  •      Section 7.      Notices to State. The Council Secretary or her authorized representative shall provide, on behalf of the Council, the notices to the Florida Department of Revenue required in Section 212.054(7)(a) and (b), Florida Statutes.   
  •      Section 8.      Separate Board Action. If a majority of the votes cast in the referendum shall be for the half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax, the Duval County School Board, by separate action, shall, consistent with law and the plan adopted as part of School Board Resolution attached as Exhibit 1, implement and specify how the proceeds of the half-cent School Capital Outlay Sales Surtax shall be used.
  •      Section 9.      Effective Date.  This Ordinance shall become effective upon signature by the Mayor or upon becoming effective without his signature.
  • Form Approved:
  •   /s/ Stephen Durden
  • Office of General Counsel
  • Legislation Prepared By: Stephen Durden
  • GC-#1284147-v1-School_Capital_Outlay_Sales_Surtax

(Formatting note: GOT added the bullet points to distinguish the proposed ordinance from surrounding text.)

Exhibit One for the proposed ordinance, which consists of the Board resolution calling for the special election, the description of the “Surtax Capital Outlay Plan,” the notice of election, and a certified copy of the Board meeting minutes adopting this.

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