Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Half-Cent Sales Tax?
The School Capital Outlay Surtax is a ½ penny sales tax on some goods and services that was approved by the voters of Highlands County on August 30, 2016. It will be levied for 20 years.
Why is this tax needed?
The School Board has experienced substantial decreases in their revenue designated for Capital expenditures. The School Board receives funding from the Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO), which comes from the state and Capital Millage, which comes from local property taxes. Over the past 8 years, PECO funds have decreased by 71% and Property Tax Revenues have decreased by 46%, mainly due to the Great Recession. This equates to a total revenue reduction of 48 %.
What are the funds generated from the tax used for?
Funds generated under the ½ cent can only be used for capital expenditures and not on operational needs (salaries, supplies, monthly operational expenses, etc.). There is a 20-year capital plan that includes safety and security projects, new buses, technology upgrades, renovations, repairs and general upgrades to the physical plant of each school, additional classrooms at some schools and the possibility of school expansion in the future.
*This webpage will be updated quarterly with a list of projects that have been completed at each individual campus in our county.