Three Years After Passing Half Cent Sales Tax

Three Years After Passing Half Cent Sales Tax
Posted on 11/09/2021
Three Years After Passing Half Cent Sales Tax

Three years ago, the voters of Lee County put their trust in the School District of Lee County and approved a half-cent sales tax increase. So far, the sales tax has generated $228,152,475 for the School District’s capital needs. Sales tax revenue has accounted for 33% of all capital revenue between 2019 and 2021. In this current fiscal year, it is providing $87 million for district wide improvements that would otherwise not be possible.

“It is hard to overstate the impact the sales tax has had on the School District.” Says Chief Financial Officer Dr. Ami Desamours. “We were delaying maintenance just a few years ago. Now we are building for the future, upgrading our schools, increasing security and adding new technology. Our students benefit every day from the improvements now available to us, thanks to the support and confidence of our community.”

The sales tax was approved to fund four areas of need: Construction, Maintenance, Safety & Security, and Technology. Total spending in those areas as of today is:

  • Construction $28,874,601
  • Maintenance $46,567,696
  • Safety & Security $36,617,279
  • Technology $40,584,108

Improvements made to each school can be tracked on the School District’s Sales Tax Dashboard. The Independent Sales Surtax Oversight Committee continues to oversee the use of sales tax revenues in accordance with the referendum and provides quarterly reports of such use to the School Board.

Some of the major construction projects completed in the first three years include:

  • Lehigh Senior High School Addition and Renovations (East Zone)
  • Gateway High School (East Zone)
  • Lehigh Acres Middle School (East Zone)

Some of the major construction projects just beginning include:

  • Elementary J in Lehigh Acres (East Zone)
  • Riverdale High School Additions and Renovations (East Zone)
  • Renovations to the old Lehigh Acres Middle School and Veterans Park (East Zone)

Some of the major construction projects still to come include:

  • Franklin Park Elementary rebuild (South Zone)
  • The Innovation School (East Zone)
  • Cypress Lake Middle School rebuild (South Zone)

Some of the major maintenance, safety & security and technology projects completed include:

New Roof

  • North Fort Myers HS
  • Caloosa Middle School
  • Villas Elementary
  • G. Weaver Hipps Elementary

New HVAC

  • Fort Myers High School
  • Ida Baker High School
  • Cape Coral Elementary
  • North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts

Lighting & Electrical

  • Fort Myers Middle
  • Harns Marsh Middle
  • Skyline Elementary
  • Orange River Elementary

Technology

  • Upgrades at all schools
  • 1:1 Elementary
  • Chromebooks
  • Promethean A/V Boards at 42 Schools

There are 74 projects planned or underway for the 2021/2022 school year, which include:

Rain Gutters

  • Challenger Middle
  • Edgewood Academy
  • Lexington Middle School

Window Upgrades

  • The Sanibel School
  • Spring Creek Elementary
  • San Carlos Park Elementary

Lighting Projects

  • Dunbar High School
  • Hancock Creek Elementary
  • East Lee County HS

New Flooring

  • South Fort Myers HS
  • J. Colin English Elementary
  • Buckingham Exceptional Center

Emergency Generator

  • Mariner High School
  • Diplomat Middle
  • Estero High School

Chillers

  • River Hall Elementary
  • Dunbar Middle School
  • Bonita Springs Middle

Paving Upgrades

  • The Alva School
  • Rayma C. Page Elementary
  • Orangewood Elementary

Blinds Upgrade

  • Villas Elementary
  • Mariner Middle School
  • Royal Palm Exceptional Center