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Change needed

July 6, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

In several months we will have the opportunity to become involved in one of the most important rights that have been bestowed on citizens, the right to vote. It is of vital importance especially now that we engage in this process and must look upon those that are prepared to serve.

The half-cents sales tax that is being requested by the Lee County School Board will be determined during this election. School Board members have been communicating their support of this request but have failed to become good stewards of your tax dollars and, as always, have responded in a reactionary process rather than being proactive.

The current deficit the district has incurred will be paid off within the next five years however taxpayers are asked to commit to a 10-year obligation paying this increase.

In a meeting with the Board of County Commissioners and our state legislative delegation, discussions and several solutions were proactively proposed that did not include a half-cent tax increase imposed on taxpayers. They are as followed: 1. an offer to work in the legislature to restore 0.5 millage to capital 2. an offer to give them authority to levy impact fees without going through the county commission 3. an offer to help them build more partnership high schools with FSW and teaching schools with FGCU, which could possibly be funded directly from the state budget 4. And a offer to help propose a sales tax swap in exchange for eliminating the 1.5 millage in capital altogether.

It must be clearly noted that the School Board declined each offer, thus placing the taxpayers to become responsible for paying for poor oversight and reactionary decision-making by the Lee County School Board.

The tax increase being requested is 3.8 percent of a $1.5 billion budget. It should also be noted that if constraints are as they have been represented, then the District has a far more systematic problem than a 3.8 percent increase in taxes will solve which is not a lack of revenue but a lack of oversight, decision making, and planning priorities.

These are what should be the District's major priorities of concern: 1. Proactive decision-making; 2. Embracing workable solutions that provide quality education for students without placing a new additional tax burden on Lee County taxpayers and 3. Proposing the implementation of educational opportunities and equity for all.

Charles B. Dailey,

Candidate for the Lee County School Board District

 
 
 

 

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