approval of tax increase will cost average Brevard homeowner additional $369 per year
RANDY FINE: Voters deserve an open and spirited conversation on your ballot proposal to increase Brevard County property taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars. I am writing to challenge you to that debate.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Florida State District 53 Representative Randy Fine has issued a challenge to Brevard Public Schools officials to a debate over the property tax increase proposal that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot.
“This morning, I have sent the attached letter (which can be seen below) to Brevard Public Government Schools Superintendent Mark Mullins, challenging him to a debate where the public can hear both sides of BPS’s proposal to increase property taxes on every Brevard County resident,” said Fine.
“As Chairman of the committee that designed BPS’s budget – the largest in history both in total and on a per-student basis – I strongly disagree with the proposal and think the public is entitled to an open and spirited debate, not one-sided taxpayer-funded marketing. I look forward to his response.”
The Brevard Public School Board recently approved a $1.4 billion budget for the next fiscal year, and BPS officials say the proposed tax increase will generate about $55 million in additional annual revenue.
If voters approve the proposal to increase Brevard Public Schools property taxes on Nov. 8, it would add taxes of $1 per $1,000 of the taxable value of Brevard County real estate properties.
The tax rate Brevard Public Schools currently receive is $5.495 per $1,000, and if a majority of voters approve the proposal, the rate would jump to $6.495 per $1,000 of taxable value. The median sales price for single-family homes in Brevard as of August was $369,900, thus approval of this tax increase will cost the average Brevard homeowner an additional $369 per year.
Brevard Public Schools currently benefit from a 1/2-cent sales surtax that voters approved in 2014 for six years and then approved for another six years in 2020.
Below is Fine’s letter to BPS Superintendent Mark Mullins:
October 17, 2022
Superintendent Mark Mullins
2700 Judge Fran Jamieson Way,
Melbourne, FL 32940
Dear Superintendent Mullins:
Voters deserve an open and spirited conversation on your ballot proposal to increase Brevard County property taxes by hundreds of millions of dollars. I am writing to challenge you to that debate.
You are currently travelling the county, giving presentations that are one-sided without any challenge to the veracity of the facts or the need for the funding. As the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on K-12 funding, no member was more directly involved in the creation of your budget – the largest in history — than I was. No member is more knowledgeable, and none has more facts at his fingertips to provide a countervailing perspective.
The voters deserve to hear both sides before they determine whether they want to send hundreds – and in many cases, thousands – more dollars to the Brevard Government School district each year.
I would propose a moderated format where we each get five minutes to make an opening presentation, and then we alternate for eight 2.5 minute blocks. Brevard County Government Schools, as sponsor of the proposal, would go first. For closing statements, I would propose a final, 9th, 2.5 minute block to give the proponents the “final word.” In other words, you would have the opportunity to speak first – and last.
I am flexible on format, timing, location, and host, though I would imagine Florida Today, Space Coast Daily, or an Orlando television station would be happy to host. Perhaps in a high school auditorium?
I look forward to your timely response.