Cheat Sheet Q&A: How's the money from Palm Beach County's sales tax being spent?:
Today's Entry: Brian, would you be able to provide to your listeners/followers contact information within the county school system where we can inquire to see where the tax revenue is being appropriated towards?
This 16.7% increase in sales tax faced no opposition, well barely, on the Nov ballots. Proponents hailed it a true win across the board for all children in our county school systems. Well, I do hope that that truly becomes the outcome. Or will this tax increase simply result in a growing bureaucracy which only answers to itself.
Many thanks, The three of you guys on the Morning Rush are absolutely great! I like how Jim pinch hits out of retirement to cover Joel and your vacations.
Bottom Line: Appreciate the kind words and we're certainly super fortune to have a local legend we can count on when one of us is out. So with regard to the specifics about how our sales tax increase is being spent...
According to Palm Beach County, the first impact of the additional funds received by the sales tax increase that was effective January 1st will be coming in March. Therefore we don't exactly know how the money is being specifically spent. Recently county administration Verdenia Baker had this to say regarding how Palm Beach County intends to go about using the funds: "You have to have the money in hand before you sign the contracts. We figure it'll be summer or fall before you start seeing the signs that the projects are paid for with sales tax dollars."
As a reminder here's who's on the receiving end of the 16.7% sales tax increase in Palm Beach County:
- 50% to the school district
- 30% to the county
- 20% to (the 39) municipal governments
So it's likely going to be awhile before there are clear answers. With half of the money an estimated $1.4 billion over ten years, going to the Palm Beach County school district, we certainly want to keep a close eye on the use of these funds as a means of accountability. Given that the school district and county's budgets aren't approved until September, it could take until then to have a fairly clear idea on where the money is going. It's worth noting that the county's budget last year had a final vote being taken without anyone commenting - so any improvement in community engagement would be a good place to start.
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