The citizens of Manatee County have generously proven their support of our students and schools by passing two separate voter referendums in a span of 16 months. The “Community Referendum Information” section of this website is dedicated to keeping Manatee County citizens informed about how the funds from those two referendums are being spent by the School District of Manatee County.
On this page, you will find general background information about the two referendums. To see how funds are being allocated, please click on either the “1-Mill Property Tax” page, or the “Half-Cent Sales Tax” page links.
Again, thank you for your support. #WeManatee
Half-Cent Sales Tax Referendum
Manatee County voters originally voted to approve a half-cent sales tax increase in 2002 to help pay for the School District of Manatee County's capital needs, including construction of new schools. Between 2002 and 2015, funding from the half-cent sales tax helped build 11 brand new schools and totally rebuild 8 existing schools (view list here).
With the half-cent sales tax set to expire in 2017, Manatee County citizens approved a renewal of the half-cent sales tax for school district capital needs on November 8, 2016.
Due to the renewal of the Half-Cent Sales Tax Referendum:
• Three new schools were built to relieve overcrowding in the northern and eastern portions of Manatee County. All three schools – Parrish Community High School, Dr. Mona Jain Middle School and Barbara A. Harvey Elementary School – opened in August 2019;
• Aging and outdated equipment such as cooling and heating systems, roofs, traffic and parking surfaces, flooring and playgrounds is being updated and replaced;
• Safety and technology equipment in our schools are being enhanced to meet 21st century needs.
On Tuesday, March 20, 2018, a majority of Manatee County voters approved a 1-Mill Referendum to enhance funding for school district operational needs.
As a result of the passage of the 1-Mill Referendum:
• Students now receive 30 more minutes of instruction daily, or one full year of additional instructional time during their K-12 career;
• Salaries for teachers and other school-related staff have been increased, allowing Manatee County to be more competitive with surrounding counties when recruiting and retaining top-quality educators and support personnel;
• CTE (Career & Technical Education) and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs have been enhanced, benefiting both students (as future employees) and their prospective employers.