Citizens Oversight Committee discusses half-cent sales tax spending plan

By: Erica Rakow Email
By: Erica Rakow Email

Panama City-- "I thought you needed to be the first to hear and see this so you understand it and can ask questions," said Superintendent Bill Husfelt at a meeting with the Citizens Oversight Committee Monday morning.

Husfelt wanted to make sure the members of the Citizens Oversight Committee got a clear picture of some of his priorities for spending half-cent sales tax dollars. Instead of upgrading one school at a time, Husfelt wants to spread the money around.

"Our goal is to put all the technology at the same level in all the schools at the same time," said Husfelt.

The half-cent sales tax is expected to generate about $130 million dollars over the next 10 years. $6.5 million will go to technology, with the majority going to facility upgrades and renovations.

"This plan allows us to use the half cent sales tax money to do it all at one time and pay for that on a tax participation note over 5 years and still have more left to do infrastructure and construction," said Husfelt.

Members of the Citizens Oversight Committee seem to agree with Husfelt's recommendation to outfit all schools with the same technology at once.

"To bring the whole district and all 36 of our schools up to the same level gives every student the same ability to learn," said Committee Member, Bob Miller.

For a complete list of projects the half-cent sales tax will pay for, you can visit the school district's website.

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