Voters Approve Penny Sales Tax Hike In Palm Beach County

Nov 9, 2016

A penny sales tax hike was green-lighted Tuesday by voters in Palm Beach County.

Around 57 percent of voters approved raising the county’s rate from 6 to 7 percent. It’s expected to generate $2.7 billion  over the next decade. That money will go to fix schools, roads and bridges and to pay for new technology and construction projects.

“I think the community wants to see their penny at work very quickly,” said Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa.

The district already has plans for some of the funds, which should start coming in March. But Avossa said the tax vote also sent him an important mandate: more than 40 percent of the voters said “no.”

“It means I have to pay attention to make sure that people understand that they can trust us and that we deliver on the promises that we’ve made,” Avossa said. “I have a commitment to continue to build a relationship with the community in a very transparent and open way."

The district’s first spending priority is $10 million to replace old school buses, Avossa said.