Manatee County votes yes on school referendum

Manatee County students will have an extra half-hour of school next year, and property owners will see a bump in their taxes to compensate for the increased cost.

On March 20, Manatee County voters chose to approve a school referendum by a 2.76 percent majority. More than 51 percent of voters voted for the referendum, which proposed a one mill property tax increase to raise an additional $33 million annually for the school district.

A total 56,450 votes were cast on the referendum from the 235,931 registered voters throughout the county for a 23.98 percent turnout.

The final tally with all precincts and absentees counted March 20 was 28,9494 for and 27,392 against.

The $33 million funding will be used to extend the school day by a half-hour, increase staff salaries to be more competitive and put a science, technology, engineering and mathematics class in every elementary school in the district, including Anna Maria Elementary.

AME will gain $200,000 or more in funding annually through the tax increase.

On Anna Maria Island, four precincts weighed in on the school tax. Anna Maria voters cast 150 votes for and 211 votes against the tax.

Two precincts in Holmes Beach saw 406 for and 442 opposed to the tax.

Bradenton Beach voters cast 100 votes for the referendum and 114 votes were tallied against the proposal.

Full results are available at votemanatee.com.

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