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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

County sales tax for school district may be coming soon

To the Editor:

I believe the groundwork is being laid for a half-cent countywide sales tax for the Marion County School District.

Marion County currently has a penny sales tax that generates about $196 million over a four-year period for county revenue. This penny sales tax has been in effect since 2016 to enable Marion County government to improve infrastructure in many areas. The current Marion County sales tax is 7 percent.

The Marion County school district is in the process of adding new schools and will need additional funding. The school district currently receives a one-mill property tax assessment to generate funds. The Marion County School Board is trying to get an increase in the impact fees to help with finances, and it is in the process of being reviewed by the county commissioners.

Whatever happens to the impact fee, it will not generate the income needed for the new schools. I would suggest the taxpayer voters take a close look at the situation as it develops. I believe the best outcome is to keep the one-cent county sales tax in 2024 for four more years and split the additional penny with the school board. The new growth that we have had was supposed to bring in additional tax revenue to help hold taxes down.

Now is the time for the voters to pay attention.

Steven Swett
Dunnellon resident