SARASOTA FL-- Every four years voters head to the polls and let their voices be heard. About the 1-millage tax property owners currently pay. With the tax set to expire officials are now rallying support for its renewal.
"It would be catastrophic," said Sarasota School Board Chair Jane Goodwin. She referring to the impacts of losing the revenue generated from the 1 - millage rate property tax.
"We have in every area cut expenses as much as we possible can and a $40 million cut would be really a frightful situation," said Goodwin.
By frightening Goodwin meas a situation that could result in devastating program and personnel cuts.
"We would have major lay offs and yes we would have reduction in salaries," added Goodwin.
Back in 2012 Sarasota residents voted to begin paying the tax that equates to $1 for every $1000 of your property value. A cost, of about $100 for a property valued at $100,000. Every four years voters are asked to approve continuing the tax that officials say is directly responsible for the progress area schools have made.
"We are rank as the number 3 school district in the state. In FCAT scores we are among 5 of 67 school districts in the state who are an "A" district. The quality of education we so proudly enjoy and treasure will be definitely impacted if the referendum isn't passed," said Goodwin.
In addition officials say the money from the mileage rate also allowed for the expansion of the school day by an hour. As well the opportunity to offer competitive pay. But residents we spoke to say the school district doesn't have to worry about loosing that statue because they plan on supporting the measure.
"Its price but i think its worth it in the end I don't have children but i think the children are worth spending the money one," said Sarasota resident Brian Orth.
And Sarasota resident Jerry Bainbridge agrees "Children our our future so if we don't provide a good education they wont have a good future."
The vote to continue the 1 mill tax wont be until march of 2014. But officials say the issue is so important that they get the word out early.