In 2010, Orange County voters approved an additional one mill on their property tax to:
Retain highly qualified teachers
Preserve arts programs in schools
Maintain academic programs and student activities
Sustain athletics for OCPS students
That extra mill expires in June 2015. Without it, OCPS will lack funding to continue fully supporting these jobs and programs. On Nov. 4, Orange County voters will decide if the one-mill property tax should be renewed for an additional four years.
The Big Picture
The chart below shows historic funding per student along with a comparison of equivalent purchasing power adjusted for inflation by the Federal Consumer Price Index. Without the extension of the one mill, OCPS anticipates a 2015 reduction of about $95 million. This year, the loss would have included 710 teachers along with some fine-arts and athletics programs.
OCPS One-Mill Analysis: Funding Per Student Without One-Mill Renewal (With 2007-08 Purchasing Power Comparison)
How Much Will the One Mill Cost?
Because this would be a continuation of the one mill, it would not cost more than what home owners have been paying for the last four years. For a home worth $150,000, it’s $10.42 per month.
Didn't Voters Just Approve the Tax Extension?
This one-mill property tax is different from the half-penny sales tax renewal voters passed in August. The half-cent is used for capital improvements like renovating or replacing existing schools and buying classroom technology. The one-mill property tax only goes toward operational expenses – staff and programs within the school.
Can't You Fund These Things Through Additional Belt Tightening?
Orange County Public Schools is consistently recognized for its fiscal responsibility. Just this year, OCPS received the coveted Governor’s Sterling Award for organizational performance excellence. For the past several years, OCPS has been consistently ranked in the top five public school districts in Florida, for the least amount of administrative expenditures per student.