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OPINION

Letter: A 'yes' vote for half-cent sales tax

Northwest Florida Daily News

We have an important issue on the November ballot and many of us will be receiving absentee ballots in the mail shortly. 

Please join me by voting yes on the referendum supporting the half-cent sales tax to help our county continue to make much needed school safety improvements and to finally begin the modernization of the many dilapidated schools in Okaloosa County.  

"With only two schools built in this century, our children are largely attending the same schools their parents and even grandparents attended."

More:Sales-tax campaign for schools kicks off

With only two schools built in this century, our children are largely attending the same schools their parents and even grandparents attended.  While there’s nothing wrong with having half-a-century old facilities (and older), it becomes a hinderance to learning when air conditioning units continuously fail, roofs constantly leak and so many of our children are attending school in portable classrooms. 

The sales tax referendum, by state law, is specifically designed to require all of its proceeds to be spent on facility improvements and not on salaries or additional personnel.

This referendum provides the voters of Okaloosa County with a say in how much needed improvements to our school facilities are funded. This is an opportunity to share the cost with everyone that lives, visits or buys goods here in our county. This includes the thousands of tourists who come here year after year to enjoy our beautiful area. During the tourist season, most of the sales taxes collected come from our out-of-state visitors.

Let’s join together to help shape the future of our county by supporting the children (and teachers) who are relying upon us to make a difference.

James D. Curry, Fort Walton Beach