Vote “Yes” on One Mill Tax!October 29th, 2012 by gainesvillechamber
In order to continue economic growth, job creation and increase educational gains in grades k-12, the Chamber of Commerce is supporting the One Mill Tax. The length of renewal of this tax would begin July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2017 and will allow usage of the tax to finance operating expenses for school nurses, elementary music and art programs, k-12 school library programs, k-12 guidance programs, middle and high school band and chorus programs, academic/career technical magnet programs and to update classroom technology!
Why does the Chamber support the renewal of the Alachua County School District’s existing One Mill ad valorem tax?
•The Chamber advocates a well-rounded, effective and efficient system of K-12 education that seeks to diversify our economy through innovation. The key to economic prosperity is having a talented workforce with the necessary education and skills to meet market demands.
•The One Mill funds full-time academic & career tech programs, guidance counselors, elementary art and music teachers, media centers, middle school bands and classroom technology.
•In 2011, career/tech program students had a 96.33% graduation rate, in comparison to 76.4% for all of Alachua County.
•On the 2012 FCAT, the percentage of band students who scored at Level 3 or better (on a 1-6 scale) was between 8 and 13 percentile points higher than the entire student population, depending on grade level. For students enrolled in a magnet program (academic or career/tech), the differences ranged from 19 to 40 percentile points, depending on grade level.
Potential impact if the tax is not renewed:
•In the 2011-12 school year, the One Mill funded 160 teaching positions, 7 technicians and $1.3 million in classroom technology (i.e. interactive boards and computer labs). An elimination of 160 jobs would also equal to an average loss of $6.4 million in payroll, which could negatively impact other economic indicators for Gainesville and Alachua County, such as employment rates, property values and retails sales.
Did you know?
Microsoft’s 2012 report entitled “A National Talent Strategy: Ideas for Securing U.S. Competitiveness and Economic Growth” outlines the urgent demand for workers trained in the STEM fields, short and long-term strategies to address that demand and the need to strengthen K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.
If the one mill is renewed, the Chamber recommends that the Alachua County School Board and the One Mill Oversight Committee should build upon existing educational outcomes associated with the one mill property tax, by developing a strategy to demonstrate increased STEM outcomes through the usage of the tax.
To view the Chamber’s Full Position, please click here.