Palm Beach County Midterm Election Referendum


Maddy Torres

Myles Handal creates a pot in his ceramics class at Jupiter High

The midterm election, held Nov. 8, includes a referendum for Palm Beach County voters, referring to whether or not the penny sales tax should continue. This tax goes towards schoolwide programs and funding for staff. 

The purpose of a referendum is to put legislation on the ballot before it is approved, if voted in favor for, it becomes a law. 

“The so-called “Penny Tax” referendum for Palm Beach County first appeared on the ballot in 2016 and asked for a one cent sales tax hike to help the schools,” Hanssen said. 

The tax, if passed, will begin July 1, 2023 and end June 30, 2027. The tax is funding a variety of our current programs. 

“As a teacher, I have seen the benefits of that sales tax,” Hanssen said. 

The tax goes beyond just paying teachers more. 

“It funds 750 teachers, art, Music, PE, and some others; funds go towards mental health services, needed now after COVID more than ever; ensures enough officers/security is on each campus, and yes, improves teacher pay,” Daniel Blaskey, Jupiter High’s union representative and teacher, said. 

There are academic benefits to allowing this funding to precede. 

“Kids without PE don’t do as well  in school, if they don’t get a chance to go outside and participate in these creative activities, which help executive processes,” Micheal Deleonardo, teacher at Jupiter High, said. “So, without the referendum we lose the ability to pay our teachers and PE teachers.”

This tax will not have an effect on those already paying their taxes. 

“It’s just a sales tax that we already have, so it’s not an extra tax, it’s one we already pay,” Deleonardo said. 

Voter registration ended Oct. 11, however, if registered, mail-ins are accepted up to a week before Election Day and in person voting is still taking place on Nov. 8, in any Polling place before 7 p.m. 

Register to vote for the next election! Register to Vote (

Vote in this one by mail at your own convenience! Vote By Mail (