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LETTER — Vote yes on sales tax referendum

To The Editor:

Each year, roughly 1,700 students, ages 4 – 21 are educated, fed, and nurtured in Charlotte County Public Schools.

These are your kids, your grandkids, your cousins, nieces, nephews, and neighbors, each one of them teaming with potential and promise. 

These are my kids because I am a teacher and these precious souls become like my very own.

The campus they go to each day (under normal circumstances) truly becomes a second home for them 10 months of the year.  From roughly 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., the students of CCPS will spend their days, and even longer if they participate in after-school activities and remediation, within the buildings and on the grounds of our school campuses.

All this to say, our facilities need constant attention and upkeep.  Not only are we dealing with older facilities, but also normal wear and tear. Our schools are not immune to repairs, much-needed upgrades, and replacement parts,  just like it is in your own home or with your own car.  But, the expense and scale is much larger when you are dealing with the size and scope of these campuses. So funding these fixes and upgrades becomes an issue for a rural county whose coffers are not brimming with extra money.  This is why we must vote yes for the 1% additional sales tax referendum.

Please understand that all money generated from this referendum will go directly to CCPS.  These funds will be dedicated strictly for school repairs, renovations, and upgrades. Be clear, these funds do not go to the Board of Supervisors or in to a general fund.

I understand everyone gets a bit queasy when the word “tax” is mentioned but please understand, this is a tax that will be paid by everyone and anyone that purchases the qualified items – this is not just a tax shouldered only by the citizens of Charlotte County. 

One penny on the dollar is a fair and necessary tax to see that the children of Charlotte County, both now and for future generations, are educated in quality, up-to-date facilities.  The tax expires in 20 years but what a wonderful difference can be made in those 20 years.  Please vote yes. A yes vote shows the children of Charlotte County that you support them, their education, and their future.

Rhonda Benn

Teacher

Randolph-Henry High School