School board votes against special election for sales tax increase

Your money is still on the line. On Monday, the Lee County School Board voted to not have a special election.

Instead, voters will decide on a sales tax increase during November’s general election.

That money would go toward school resources.

“I believe that schools are underfunded. I have children in Lee County schools. I’m happy to pay a half cent sales tax,” saidĀ Esmond Lewis of Fort Myers.

But not everyone is as quick to support the plan.

“Felt like I was punched in the gut, I almost threw up. Then I felt like I was having a heart attack,” said Tim Hawk of Lee County.

With a rapidly growing enrollment, the school board says it needs the money for school infrastructure, maintenance and technology.

Many are weary of the tax, including school board members.

“We need to prove to the public we’re transparent and I think we’ve got our work cut out for us. The ball is rolling but we’re not there yet,” saidĀ Melisa Giovannelli.

The school board stresses the importance of also understanding the tax.

It doesn’t come into play for food or fuel, and stops at $5,000 for major purchases, according to officials.

Commissioners will vote Tuesday to put it on the November ballot. They expect a quick approval.

Reporter:Taylor Bisacky