Editor's Note: Ed Connor of the Volusia Tax Reform and an ocasional comminty blogger for Headline Surfer was asked to give the 24/7 Internet newspaper his perspective on rejction of the school referendum, which was narrowly defeated Election Day, but today is the subject of a recount by the supervisor of elections:
DAYTONA BEACH -- Despite a relentless barrage of meetings and pleadings with neighborhood groups, notes sent home in lunch boxes threatening loss of vital programs and the endorsement under duress of the Chamber of Commerce and several business leaders in Daytona, the referendum for a new one mill school property tax failed to receive voter approval by half of 1 percent triggering a recount which began today in Deland under the supervision of Ann McFall.
This tax was opposed most actively by Volusia Tax Reform on the basis it would harm the business community disproportionately. The tax would have raised $104 Million over four years. Of that amount about 52% would come from business and a few high end homes.
The endorsement of the Daytona Beach News-Journal of the Volusia Tax Reform position a few days before the election probably spelled the difference in this very close vote. Reporter Linda Trimble pursued this story with objectivity and clarity and convinced her editorial board that the VTR position was correct. This tax would harm the community more than the cuts would harm the schools.
This is believed to be the first time a school property tax hike has ever been defeated in Volusia County.
The voters are becoming aware of how tax dollars are spent and how they are often wasted in large bureaucracies. Volusia County School District) dropped to a "C" rating this year despite the fact we spend more than $1,000 annuslly per student, more than neighboring Seminole County which has an "A" rating.
More money for education is not the answer. We need more education for the money.