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Florida School District Sees Sales Tax At Work


Bay District Schools in Bay County, Florida are beginning to see the results of a half-cent tax increase that went into effect this year. Among the Florida school district improvements funded by the sales tax:

  • Renovations at Surfside Middle School including new technology in classroom and building;
  • New multi-purpose building at Callaway Elementary School;
  • Cafeteria remodel at Hiland Park and Springfield Elementary Schools; and
  • Roofing repairs at multiple schools in the district.


At a recent open house to show off the Surfside Middle School renovations, a couple principals had some positive things to say:

Principal Sue Harrell, Surfside Middle School - “[This] … is proof that the district was a good steward of the trust of the public who voted for the Half-Cent Sales Tax.

Principal Patti Fowler, Hiland Park Elementary – “If it wasn’t for the Half-Cent Sales Tax this wouldn’t be a reality, this wouldn’t be happening and we would still be in our 49-year old lunch room doing the best we can with what we have.

Saying Thank You To Voters

In order to say “Thank-You” to the community that voted in and have been paying the sales tax on all their purchases, the district came up with a unique way to communicate. Rhonda Sumpter, Instructional Specialist of Media and Technology, “…worked with other media specialists in the district to send an electronic ‘Thank You’ to Bay County voters.” She has asked business to put up flyers with QR codes that link residents to a website that “…shows residents exactly how the Half-Cent Sales Tax provided the technology upgrades.”

One parent noted that she thought it was great to not only see but experience how the new technology that is available to her children can be used. “…I like to know where my money is being spent,” said Paige Wolfe.

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Avalara Author
Susan McLain
Avalara Author Susan McLain
Susan McLain began her career as a technical writer in technology industries such as satellite networking and medical devices. Her skills encompass technical and marketing writing, usability engineering, verification and validation testing and protocol writing, requirements development, business analysis, technical illustration/graphic design and marketing. She has owned her own business providing service to small to medium sized business and in other positions, she has been in project management, documentation and marketing. She is currently the content specialist for Avalara helping to “make sales tax less taxing.”