Wednesday, April 1, 2015

City Votes Down New School Taxes

Fairhope, Alabama. (

K-1's future still in doubt?

Fairhope-area voters rejected new 3 and 5 mil property tax hikes; but approved renewing existing 1 and 3 mils ones (totaling 7 mils); but the rest of the county did not.

(The renewal of one of the 3 mil taxes failed county-wide by just over 200 votes; outcome could conceivably change when all provisional ballots are counted, but not likely.)

Voter-turnout was about 38% here. 

(The existing taxes will not expire until next year, though; leaving the door open for new proposals/referendums before then. The state legislature is now considering tax increases that may provide more local school funding as well.)

Announced School Board plans linked to this referendum's approval to renovate/re-open the K-1 and construct a new buiding behind it --  and add wings to Fairhope High and Middle Schools are now off the table, presumably.

Several meetings are scheduled for today at city and county levels to plan next steps.

(According to previous media reports, since 10 mils are the minimum required by state law, the county commission may have to act to renew/institute at least that much (5 mils?); but all of that would go to the state's controversial "equity funding" program.)

 old elementary to re-open?
In the past, the school superintendent has mentioned consolidating classes at the Elementary and Intermediate levels (to relieves E.S. over-crowding) -- and more portable classrooms as possible alternatives to new construction here; some vacant classrooms at the old Elementary building on Bishop Rd. could be put to use as well.

Selling some school property such as the now-demolished alternative school on Twin Beech Rd.  or even the K-1 site has been discussed as well.
The old K-1 building itself is unsuitable for any school-related activities without expensive renovations; but modifying it to be a performing arts center was seriously considered at one time.

Fairhope city council members had been discussing some other options for the school district early last year; but were asked to suspend until after this referendum -- click.

The council has budgeted $350,000 from city coffers (utility funds) to supplement school academics this year; plus about $600,000 for various "in kind" school sports-related activities.  

City utility rates for schools are considerably reduced as well.



Renewal: County-wide 1 mil                               for       against

0039 FAIRHOPE CIVIC CTR                           2543    1436
0040 PT CLEAR ST FRANCIS                          317       241
0041 FAIRHOPE - 3 CIRCLE CHURCH         1625    1134

Renewal: county-wide 3 mils

0039 FAIRHOPE CIVIC CTR                           2482      1493
0040 PT CLEAR ST FRANCIS                          303     253
0041 FAIRHOPE - 3 CIRCLE CHURCH         1566    1191

Renewal: District Two 3 mils

0039 FAIRHOPE CIVIC CTR                           2427    1550
0040 PT CLEAR ST FRANCIS                           289     263
0041 FAIRHOPE - 3 CIRCLE CHURCH          1519    1229


New: 5 mils

0039 FAIRHOPE CIVIC CTR                           1708    2250
0040 PT CLEAR ST FRANCIS                            199     350
0041 FAIRHOPE - 3 CIRCLE CHURCH            952    1802

New: 3 mils

0039 FAIRHOPE CIVIC CTR                              1735    2239
0040 PT CLEAR ST FRANCIS                              208     345
0041 FAIRHOPE - 3 CIRCLE CHURCH              980    1777


Robert said...

Most funding problems in Alabama are at the state level; even Gov. Bentley finally saw the light, after his final election campain of course!

The primary concern of state legislators is to get re-elected, not solve problems.

We rail against the evil Federal Government, but get $2 back for evey one we send to Washington for federal taxes.

Ending sweetheart deals like "current use" tax breaks promoted by special interests like ALFA and common sense measures like an education lottery would go a long way towards solving chronic school funding issues.

Anonymous said...

Ho-hum...yes, let's remain at the bottom at both the Alabama state level as well as even within Alabama. I'm embarassed for you, Baldwinites! Prepare for falling property values, not unlike Mobile, Montgomery and Birmingham while progressives in Huntsville, Madison, Shelby County, Lee County quietly move ahead FOR THEIR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.

Anonymous said...

Alabama gets approximately 3.5 federal dollars for every 1 it sends (definitely a TAKER state). Alabamians are freeloading. Time to pay our fair share of taxes. Lotteries disproportionately negatively effect the poor.