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City Of Jacksonville Spends Hundreds Of Thousands On Lawsuit Against Duval Schools

The Duval County Public Schools headquarters building is located on Jacksonville's Southbank.
Lindsey Kilbride

The fight over putting a half-cent sales tax referendum for school maintenance on the ballot and what it would say has cost more than $200,000 so far. And that’s just what the city has paid for its legal counsel. But we still don’t know how much the school district could be billed by its outside legal advisers — if they’re even billed at all.

And we don’t know what exactly Duval County voters would be asked to consider when they go to the polls.

Last year, the school district approved a $1.9 billion master plan devoted to school renovations, rebuilds and security enhancements across Duval County Public Schools. The plan was to fund it through a half-cent sales tax, which would get voted up or down by residents during a 2019 special election.

But 10 months and two lawsuits later, the window for a special election slipped by. Now, the school board is suing the city for a general election referendum. The holdup centered around how much money should go to public charter schools.

The city of Jacksonville has paid the law firm Burr & Forman about $206,000 out of the almost $208,000 invoiced for its outside legal assistance.

TIMELINE: A half-cent sales tax for Duval Schools

Read the rest of this story from WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union here.