Bay District millage increase is defeated

Bay County

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County voters voted against raising property taxes Tuesday.

The referendum proposed a 1-mill increase on property taxes in Bay County. School officials said the tax increase would be used to raise salaries in the district and on other needs.

Bay County residents: do you know what you pay in property taxes?

Opponents said the district was not spending the money it had wisely.

The results were 74.77 against with 17,876 people voting no. About 6,032 people or 25.23 percent of voters were in favor of the tax.

We went and spoke to both sides of the issue. School Board Vice Chairman Pamm Chapman supported the tax increase.

“The teachers, the paraprofessionals, the bus drivers and all of our employees are the ones that I feel the most disappointed for because they work so hard. I go out to the schools and i see what they do and I would have really liked to give them that extra boost. I think things just got a little confused with this issue.” said Chapman.

While the Founder of Bay County Tax Payers LLC, Dr. Jon Ward spearheaded the campaign against the referendum.

“I am just so excited that my message resonated with Bay County taxpayers. Bay County should be a low tax county. We should request accountability especially given all that has occurred in the past several years with local officials.” said Dr. Ward.

From here, Chapman says the district will look to the state to get the additional funds for salary raises.

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