McKinlay urges school board to support new sales tax plan

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay is urging county school board members to embrace the new sales tax plan she and her colleagues approved Tuesday.

The plan increases the amount of money schools, cities and the county would get from a penny on the dollar increase of the 6-cent sales tax. Because school board members had approved an earlier version of the sales tax plan – one that included a combined $161 million in set-asides for cultural projects and economic development incentives – they must take a new vote on the updated plan.

Two school board members, Debra Robinson and Frank Barbieri, attended the county commission meeting Tuesday and asked commissioners not to change the plan.

At McKinlay’s suggestion, however, commissioners voted to move forward with a new plan that does not include money for cultural projects or economic development incentives.

In a letter released after the vote, McKinlay pressed board members to back the new plan.

“It is my sincere hope that the Palm Beach County School District recognizes that the initiative approved by the County Commission (Tuesday) provides an estimated additional $54 million to our public schools to address their needs,” McKinlay wrote. “By partnering with us, it allows them to do additional capital projects like purchase much-needed school buses.”

The school board is expected to address the sales tax plan when it meets later today. Check with http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com for more coverage on this topic.

Commissioner Melissa McKinlay

Commissioner Melissa McKinlay