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Boost in schools money triggers tax hike for some

Education Dollars
Posted at 9:52 AM, Jul 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-26 06:07:00-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The push by Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature to boost money for schools is triggering a tax hike for some districts.

Republicans set aside nearly a half-billion dollars for teacher pay raises and increased state support for schools by more than $1 billion. But the complicated formula used for school funding has required a tax hike for nearly 20 districts. Homeowners are just now starting to learn about it.

For some districts it's a small hike.

But Rita Scallan, the finance director for Okaloosa County schools, says people are "likely to become alarmed" when they get the notice.

Sen. Bill Galvano, chairman of the Senate education budget committee, says one reason for the tax hike is that several counties were below the statewide average property tax rate.