Seminole commissioners, school board members discuss sales tax vote



SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - During the first ever workshop between Seminole County commissioners and school board members, they learned about the likelihood of Seminole County voters passing the proposed penny sales tax increase. They were told that is it expected that six out of 10 voters would vote for the tax increase.
No specifics were given as to what the additional money would be spent on by the cities,  the county or the school board.
"There is a list of nearly $400 million in projects. We have to determine which $150 million in projects and in what order and what year we want to do those projects," said Dr. Walt Griffin, superintendent of Seminole County Schools.
Channel 9 asked why, with less than 90 days until Seminole County voters will be asked to pass the penny sales tax, few specifics on spending the money are available. .
"We don't want to just throw a list out there and make false promises. Our priorities really need to be based on our needs," said Griffin.
The school board alone has $400 million in improvements it needs to prioritize and specify.
"Air conditioning, roofing combined are over $80 million alone. We have infrastructure needs to be remodeled, and schools that need to be refreshed. We have buildings that need to be demolished and rebuilt," said Griffin.
One county commissioner in favor of the penny sales tax broke down the math, saying the penny tax gives the entire county more money to work with.
"A mil of property tax generates $25 million a year, a penny of sales tax generates $63 million a year," said District 5 Commissioner Brenda Carey.
Carey added that a third of people who would pay into the penny tax are from out of the county.