ELECTION: Voters decide to extend half-cent tax for Orange County schools

Updated:

Loading

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County voters decided Tuesday to extend a half-cent sales tax that will give billions of dollars to building and repairing schools.

The 10-year extension of a countywide half-cent sales tax for Orange County schools was on Tuesday's ballot.

"At the end of the day, it's our future and if we don't spend a little bit of money to help our students out, what are we doing?" said voter Maria Bolton-Joubert.

But Channel 9 found out that the school district is facing criticism over a robocall that went out to families Monday night. A complaint filed with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Federal Communication Commission by Ax the Tax accuses the district of violating federal law with the robocall.

"Because central Florida is a tourism hot spot, visitors pay 55 percent of the half-penny sales tax that funds the Orange County Public Schools building program. Meanwhile, Orange County students benefit 100 percent. It's on the ballot. Please vote tomorrow August 26," the call stated.

"You're not allowed to send any kind of political message, whether it's get out of the vote, vote for John Smith to cell phones," said Doug Guetzloe, with Ax the Tax. "Using the Orange County schools emergency student network  which is what they used to make the call, is even more outrageous."

The school district said the automated message doesn't encourage residents to vote yes or no. School officials wouldn't comment any further because of pending litigation.