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Palm Beach County school board considers property tax hike to pay for teacher raises

Posted at 5:39 AM, May 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-08 09:48:05-04

Palm Beach County residents might be asked to pay a little more in order to give teachers pay raises. 

The county is considering asking voters to pay higher property taxes on the November ballot.

Chief Financial Officer Mike Burke said during a district workshop that even though the budget is balanced, there is no additional money set aside for raises.

A starting salary in Palm Beach County is $41,000.

In 2017, the board approved a 3.2 percent raise, but district officials note the raise doesn't bring salaries up to the national average of $57,379. 

The average teacher salary in Florida is $48,992.

If asked to pay more, property taxes could go up by 1.00 millage or $75 for every $100,000 in taxable value. 

Funding from the property tax hike would fund the raises, but it would also help increase school safety and maintain the 0.25 millage approved by voters in 2010 and 2014 for Art, Music, PE and Choice teachers.

A decision on the potential tax hike will have to be made by July to go on the November ballot. 

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