Tallahassee Chamber Endorses Continuation of Half-Penny Tax for Schools

~ Proposal is Best Way to Ensure Quality Education for Leon County’s Children ~

Acting decisively to build the best possible future for Leon County’s children, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce today endorsed a proposal to extend the half-penny sales tax for Leon County Schools.

“After taking an in-depth look at the school district’s needs and how the tax revenues would be spent, the Chamber came to the inescapable conclusion that our public schools cannot continue delivering the quality education this community demands without an extension of the half-penny tax,” said Chamber Chairman Bill Moor, president of Capital City Banc Investments.

Today’s action is based on a detailed report prepared at the Chamber’s request by the Capital Improvements Review Team (CIRT). Team members volunteered more than 2,000 hours studying the school district’s facility and equipment needs and conducted some 50 site visits, ultimately concluding that the tax extension is justified and essential.

“Chamber members recognize that taxes must only be a last resort, and our extensive review concluded that this is the best way – perhaps the only way – to make sure school children in Leon County have the tools they need to thrive for years to come,” said Dr. Jim Murdaugh, Tallahassee Community College president and CIRT chair.

The final CIRT report concludes that continuation of the half-penny tax should be sufficient, barring unforeseen events, to meet a substantial portion of the District’s capital outlay needs for the next 15 years. Leon County voters would have to approve the tax extension.

“The Chamber took a detailed and independent look at plans for the half-penny tax revenues so Leon County residents can be certain the funds would be used to meet the most important needs,” said Chamber President Sue Dick. “Without this revenue, our schools’ ability to produce the leaders of the future will be seriously at risk.”