Admin
On November 5, Vote! Your vote matters.

A referendum on the November 5, 2024, ballot will ask voters to continue the half-cent sales tax for district capital needs for ten years.

Key Points
  • A ‘for’ vote would continue an existing, crucial source of funding for school construction, renovation, and technology, including improvements for safety and security.

  • More than 50% of the half-cent sales tax is funded by tourists and non-residents.

  • Since 2011, OCPS has built or rebuilt 64 schools, nearly 30% of schools constructed by school districts in the state of Florida.

  • A ‘against’ vote would delay needed new campuses, put off necessary repairs to existing schools and return OCPS to a greater reliance on portable classrooms.

  • Orange County has a 6.5% sales tax, lower than some neighboring counties (Seminole at 7% and Osceola at 7.5%). A ‘for’ vote would keep the current rate with no increase.

  • Over the past two decades, the Florida Legislature has dramatically decreased the funding for school district’s building and maintenance programs.

  • The half-cent sales tax referendum will be the last item on the Nov. 5 ballot.
History
  • In 2002, community partners joined the district to address a lack of funding for new schools and campus improvements. The half-cent passed with 59.3% approval.

  • The sales tax was continued by Orange County voters in August 2014, with 64% in favor.

  • The independent, all-volunteer Citizens’ Construction Oversight and Value Engineering (COVE) Committee has monitored, reviewed and provided input on the school construction program since 1997, and has been part of the half-cent sales tax effort since the beginning.

Benefits
  • At least 136 schools have been or will be rebuilt or renovated by the current sales tax.

  • Revenues from the half-cent have funded the OCPS Capital Renewal Program since 2014 to replace major systems such as air conditioning and roofing.

  • Portable usage has dropped by about 75% due to the construction of new schools.

  • Before the sales tax, the average age of our K-12 schools was 32 years. It is now 13 years.
Rationale
  • The current half-cent sales tax is set to expire at the end of 2025.

  • If the revenue isn’t extended, building program needs will exceed projected revenues by more than $4 billion through 2035.

  • School construction funds cannot be used for general expenses such as teacher raises.

Resources

Informational Flier
Help share the facts by distributing this informational flier.

Spanish Version

Portuguese Version

Haitian-Creole Version  

Ballot Language

One-half cent sales surtax for school facilities construction, improvement, land acquisition, and technology implementation.

Shall the School Board of Orange County, Florida continue the one-half cent sales surtax to fund the construction, reconstruction and improvement of school facilities, and land acquisition, land improvement, design and engineering costs, including any bond indebtedness, and the cost of retrofitting and providing technology implementation, beginning January 1, 2026 and ending December 31, 2035, shared proportionately with charter schools as legally required, with continued oversight by an independent citizens’ committee?

____ for the one-half cent tax
____ against the one-half cent tax


Spanish Version

Portuguese Version

Haitian-Creole Version

School Board Resolution

Important Dates

October 2 - Local Vote-by-Mail begins

October 7 - Deadline to register to vote

October 21 - November 3 - Early voting

November 5 - General Election Day

SINCE 2003 ...  Orange County Public Schools has opened 65 new schools to make room for growth and relieve overcrowding. Through the 2023-24 school year, 133 schools have been renovated or replaced.  136 schools have been funded.