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Some Duval teachers upset at lump-sum supplement from Gov. Rick Scott

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Updated: 12/17/2013 6:56 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Teachers were hailing Florida Gov. Rick Scott after awarding them pay raises this year. But now, some are crying foul at the actual amount they're getting.

The governor allocated $480 million for Florida teachers.

"We were very excited that the governor wanted to increase teachers salaries," said Duval County Schools Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti.

But one local teacher reached out to Action News. She said she is upset because her pay raise was tacked on to her paycheck in one lump sum. And that means it was also taxed that way.

Her figures to Action News show her one-time supplement of $2,090 was taxed 35 percent. Meaning her take home total was $1,358.

Action News took her concerns to Vitti. He said he made the call to pay teachers this way to avoid problems in the future.

"For us $20 million is provided directly to teachers for this bonus. If the legislature decides not to fund it at the same level or not at all, then if we embedded it into the salary schedule we would have to find $20 million in our operating budget to continue that type of commitment," he said.

Action News also sat down with employment attorney Tad Delegal. He said regardless if the money was given in one lump sum or spread out, the taxation would be the same.

"It just is more stark because they are seeing the bottom line and they realize what percentage is taken out," he said.

Vitti said Duval teachers actually faired better than others.

"We negotiated a salary increase of 1.3 percent for all teachers going into this year, 13-14. So we did that in addition to the bonuses," he said.

Delegal said if it turns out too much money was deducted from a teacher in taxes, they will get that money back in their income tax return.
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