Jacksonville Mayor, School Board still disagree on tax referendum
Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, 2019. Image via AG Gancarski.

Lenny Curry
"Curry does not believe that an expensive special election is the way to go."

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry met with Duval County School Board Chair Lori Hershey on Tuesday at City Hall.

While the meeting was cordial, we were told Thursday that the Mayor did not move toward supporting a referendum.

“Mayor Curry had a very positive meeting with Lori Hershey where they discussed a number of important topics, including the proposed tax,” asserted Nikki Kimbleton, head of public affairs.

“Mayor Curry does not believe that an expensive special election is the way to go, but he looks forward to continuing the discussion of improving education for Jacksonville families,” Kimbleton added.

Curry voiced similar sentiments last week.

“The proposal put forth by the School Board, all I’ve seen is a proposal of a $2 billion new tax,” Curry said.

“Waiting to see details,” Curry said. “Like any piece of legislation, this has to go through the City Council.”

“I think the people of Jacksonville need to see more details. I do not support a special election for one referendum: it’s too costly,” Curry added.

The board, which contemplates an additional ½-cent sales tax to pay down a $1.95 billion capital backlog, will face some institutional roadblocks ahead of said window.

For one, Jacksonville General Counsel Jason Gabriel issued Monday a preemptory legal opinion that noted referenda timing and whether they happen at all is a sole judgment of the Council.

Council President Aaron Bowman told the Florida Times-Union that the bill would be on a six-week cycle, doubting a “need to rush” through a vote on this.

But there is a reason to rush: Any referendum happening after the end of this year, per HB 5, must be on a general election ballot.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski

One comment

  • Frankie M.

    May 16, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    How much did this last waste of an election cost us? Let Curry’s PAC cut them a check for it. But if there was a bill moving $$ to charter schools it would’ve been pushed thru before the ink was dry…smh. School choice my arse.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn