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Voters around state say yes to local school tax increases

Voters in several parts of Florida approved tax hikes for local school programs and teacher raises, which could be encouraging news to backers of a proposed half-cent sales tax increase in November for Hillsborough County public schools.

By a 13-point margin, Lake County voters approved a property tax increase of .75 mills to help pay for additional school security, the Daily Commercial reports. A similar tax referendum in Clay County was approved by 53 percent of voters, according to WJXT.

The Sun-Sentinel reported that Broward County voters passed a property tax increase to give teachers a 6 percent raise. The money also will help pay for school security officers and student mental health care.

WLRN reported that Monroe County voters by a 60-40 margin gave a resounding thumbs-up tax to pay for security measures, while the Panama City News reported that Bay County voters extended a local sales tax for security and construction projects.

The Orlando Sentinel said 83 percent of voters approved an extension of a special property tax to help pay for teacher raises and school arts programs.

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I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.

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