Higher Sales Tax In Place In Palm Beach County This Month

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Staff report
You may notice that you are paying more in sales tax this month when you hit the mall.
That’s because voters approved a penny-tax increase when they hit the polls during the presidential election in November.
For the next 10 years or until $2.7 billion is collected, the sales tax in Palm Beach County will total 7 cents per dollar up from the 6 cents per dollar charge.
Palm Beach County schools will receive half of the sales tax money totaling about $1.3 billion, the county 30 percent and 20 percent will go to the 39 cities located in the county.
Even though the referendum to increase the county’s sales tax passed with 57 percent of voters supporting the increase, officials know many residents are skeptical about how the money will spent.
County officials have said that the county, school district and cities will not receive blank checks. Each entity will have to form separate oversight committees that include independent taxpayers to review how the money is being spent.
The school district said it will receive its first share of the sales tax money this spring.
Money has been allocated for classroom technology, new buses and maintenance vehicles, roof replacements and building envelope maintenance. In Delray, Carver Community Middle School is slated to receive a new roof and building maintenance.
Last month, the school board began selecting a citizen panel to oversee how the district uses the sales tax money. The district said it will supply quarterly updates on projects funded by the sales tax.
The county has indicated that it will begin to receive its cut of the money in March and will begin work on projects later in the year. County officials say projects that deal with public safety hazards top the list.
Cities will have to submit their own list of projects they would like funded.
Boca doesn’t have a backlog of projects so the city will have to identify a list.
Delray Beach is slated to receive between $38 million and $45 million. Identified projects include $4.6 million for a fire station/training center on Linton Boulevard, $18 million for street, sidewalk and alley upgrades throughout the city and $3 million for seawalls.
In Delray, some identified places for the money to be spent include:
Fire Station No. 5 project- $60,000
Pompey Park project- $470,000
Fire Station No. 1 building project- $70,000
Jail door replacement project- $175,000
Tennis Center project- $425,000
Old School Square parks project- $320,000
Teen Center Skate Park project- $410,000
Seacrest Boulevard to NE 8th St. roadway project- $1.042 million
Marine Way roadway project- $3 million
For Delray schools:
Atlantic Community High School- $5.9 million on facility improvements and $1.1 million for technology improvements
Banyan Creek Elementary- $8.4 million facility improvements and $645,000 for technology improvements
Delray Full Service Center- $10 million in facility improvements
Village Academy Elementary- $5.2 million facility improvements and $720 for technology improvements
S.D. Spady Elementary $3.6 milllion on facility improvements and $400,000 on technology improvements
Pine Grove Elementary- $10 million on facility improvements and $419,000 on technology improvements
For Boca schools:
Del Prado Elementary- $8.1 million on facility improvements and $519,000 on technology improvements
Omni Middle -$11 million on facility improvements and $670,000 on technology improvements
Verde Elementary- $23 million million on facility improvements and $519,000 on technology improvements
Spanish River Community High- $17.9 million on facility improvements and $1 million on technology improvements
Calusa Elementary- $9.1 million on facility improvements and $527,000 on technology improvements
Don Estridge Middle- $1 million on facility improvements and $561,000 on technology improvements
Boca Raton Community High- $8 million on facility improvements and $1 million on technology improvements
Boca Raton Community Middle- $2.76 million on facility improvements and $628,000 on technology improvements
Addison Mizner Elementary- $20 million on facility improvements and $519,000 on technology improvements
J.C. Mitchell Elementary- $9.1 million on facility improvements and $628,000 on technology improvements
Boca Raton Elementary- $866,00 on facility improvements and $259,000 on technology improvements
To learn more about how sales tax money will benefit district-operated schools, visit https://www.palmbeachschools.org/referendum2016/