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Hot schools want relief with sales tax hike

203 AC replacements or overhauls on wish list
Posted: 5:46 PM, Sep 27, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-27 18:22:43-04

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Students at Robinson High School see air conditioning problems as a way of life and district officials say a proposed tax increase would be used fix the issues. As well as to replace roofs, update technology and improve school security. 

“I’d say ever kid leaves class sweating,” said student Macy McClintock.

There always seems to be an issue.

“The other day my calculus class didn’t have air conditioning. Tomorrow I’m sure it will be another classroom,” she said.

Maintenance workers can’t keep up with repairs, so you’ll find temporary units in place.

Although to hear student presentations Thursday, the teacher temporarily turned the unit off.

“When you don’t feel comfortable you are not thinking about Socrates or Aristotle, you’re thinking about when’s my next cold drink of water going to come,” said Principal Robert Bhoolai.

The Hillsborough County school district says they will use a proposed half-penny sales tax to replace or overhaul 203 AC units including the one here at Robinson.

They also say they’ll use the added $131 million a year to replace roofs, technology updates and security improvements.

The tax would be for 10 years.

According to the school district, a typical family would pay about $63 more a year.

That’s based on a household income of about $51,000.

They say a portion would be paid by tourists.

And the tax won’t apply to groceries or medicine.

“I, unfortunately, won’t be old enough to vote. But I’m definitely pushing for it too,” said McClintock.

Along with the school referendum, voters will decide on a one-cent sales tax increase for transportation.

If both are approved, that would make Hillsborough County’s sales tax 8.5 percent, the highest in Florida.