A critical tax issue faces the 2018 legislature. Will Richard Corcoran allow schools to receive more income as property values increase? The millage rate that schools can levy will stay the same, but as property values go up, the revenue for school operating costs goes up. Or, it should. Last year, the legislature rolled back school funding so they would receive no more money than the previous year.
According to the St. Augustine Record, Richard Corcoran is running for Governor, quietly for now. He has raised $4 million for his campaign. His motto…No New Taxes. There is no planned millage increase, but Corcoran’s motto should be…No More Money for Schools.
Governor Scott has again promised more funding for education, but he is depending upon the increase in property values to pay for most of it. Once again, he and Corcoran will have a stand off. Last year, Scott yielded in exchange for his corporate incentive funding. What will be the bargaining tool this year?
Schools are in a double bind. The legislature has not only limited operating costs, it now requires districts to show local millage for facilities with privately owned charter schools. In Gainesville, we have some schools that regularly flood. We have older schools that need repair. We have crowded schools with hundreds of portable classrooms. Other districts have the same challenges. The Court of Appeals in Florida has ruled that this is a political problem. The citizens of Florida have to fix it. Will we get out the vote in November 2018?