On March 16, the school-tax referendum was approved by every voting precinct in the city of Sarasota. And, only two of the 157 precincts in all of Sarasota County had more “no” votes; one of those two precincts turned down the 1-mill tax extension by just one vote.
School-district officials said if the tax, which is expected to raise up to $200 million over the next four years, was not extended, then teachers could have faced pay cuts, and specialty classes may have been eliminated.
Overall, the referendum was approved by a 66% to 34% vote. The city precinct with the highest margin of victory was the 31st Precinct, which is in the Newtown area. Ninety percent of voters there cast their ballots in favor of the referendum.
Downtown the 119th Precinct, which is bounded by Fourth Street, 10th Street, Orange Avenue and U.S. 41, had the second-highest show of support for the tax extension, with 86% voting for it.
The 1st Precinct, which is the heart of downtown, and the 13th Precinct, which encompasses Lido and St. Armands keys, were the city precincts with the closest votes at 59% yes and 41% no and 58% yes and 42% no, respectively.
One of the two county precincts that defeated the referendum was the 139th precinct, which is east of the Interstate along the Myakka River. Only 11 total votes were cast there — five in favor of the tax, and six against.
The 55th Precinct in the Venice area also turned down the referendum, with 52% voting no.
Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].
To download precinct-by-precinct voting results, click here.