Superintendent pushes for more government support, cites tax collections

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - While praising the efforts of residents and lawmakers representing our area, Bill Husfelt, Superintendent of Bay District Schools, is asking for more government support.

The district is requesting $36 million for general operations.

Husfelt said the lack of response from state and federal leaders is a slap in the face.

"We are not getting the respect that our people in the area affected... it's just not Bay County, we're not getting the respect we deserve as citizens of the state of Florida and the citizens of this country," he said.

This comes after the district announced it could potentially lay off 600 people if there isn't any funding.

Although there is uncertainty surrounding funding, there is an idea of where that money could come from.

One idea of where that money could come from is sales tax collections. Husfelt said the state received a drastic increase in sales tax collections from Bay County alone.

A press release reads, "Based upon a year-to-year comparison, sales tax collections from Bay County dropped sharply in October and November when many businesses were closed but up 36.54% in a December 2018 to December 2019 comparison."

"In the last two reporting periods of sales tax collection for Bay County, the state has received $6 million for the last two months reported above what they normally get," Husfelt said.

Jim Loyed, Manager of Financial Services for Bay District Schools, said, "Those are extra dollars that they didn't think they were going to get and so that makes sense to share it back with the people who spent the money."

In short, the district is hoping to receive some of that revenue back to provide services like mental healthcare and stability for thousands of employees.