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Hillsborough County Schools Adds Property Tax Increase To August Ballot

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Residents in Hillsborough County could soon be paying more for their property taxes.

This comes after the Hillsborough County School District added a referendum to the August primary ballot that will ask voters to increase their property taxes so teachers can receive higher salaries.

Denise Scangarello is a teacher in Hillsborough County Schools and says she was upset when she heard the district added a referendum to the August primary ballot that will ask voters to increase their property taxes so teachers can get raises.

"I haven't seen a raise in four year. And with this all-time high inflation, it's ridiculous. Unless teachers and their immediate family members are exempt from this tax, then no. Because we would be paying our taxes, so we are increasing our own taxes to pay ourselves our new salary that may or may not even happen," said Scangarello.

According to the district, if a home is worth $100,000, a resident could see their property taxes go up by 75 dollars a year. Any homes ranging between $500,000 and $1,000,000 would see an increase between $400 and $1,000 a year.

"Their funds are so misappropriated, it's ridiculous," said Scangarello.

Scangarello says the description of the referendum is so vague that she's not sure teachers would even see any pay raise if the tax hike passes in August.

"I want it to say 'Yes, if we do this, teachers will get x number of dollars this year, next year and the third year. It has to be a guarantee," said Scangarello.

On the other hand, Hillsborough County teacher, Victoria Taylor, says she's used to taxes like this one.

"I think in Florida, we are used to be taxed for schools, but I remember when I lived in another state up North and this was 20 years ago, we paid a thousand dollars in school taxes alone," said Taylor.

She says teacher raises are needed, and not only to keep up with inflation.

"What other investment is there than in the education of your children?" said Taylor.

Whether teachers support the tax referendum or not, most teachers are in agreement: They need to be paid more.

"How sad is it that we have teachers on a public forum on social media, begging for supplies," said Scangarello.

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