Sarasota County voters on Tuesday resoundingly approved a four-year extension of an optional local property tax for the school district, passing the measure by the most lopsided margin ever. With all precincts reporting, nearly 79 percent of the 62,896 votes tabulated were in favor of continuing the tax, according to unofficial results posted by the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections. The one-mill tax has been in place since 2002 and costs $1 for every $1,000 of taxable value. The district has used the roughly $55 million it generates annually to pay teachers more, add 30 minutes of instructional time a day and hire more art teachers and behavioral specialists for the A-rated district.
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