Friday, June 17, 2016

Updated: New Baldwin School Tax Districts Approved

Fairhope, Alabama

Updated to include video of the vote (below)

June 16, 2016 Board of Education meeting.


By a 5-2 vote the Baldwin County School Board approved a resolution creating seven special tax districts where the communities involved may choose to enact extra taxes for their school feeder patterns -- by voter referendum.

Before the vote, only two existed.

Before this vote, JaNay Dawson was appointed to replace Norm Moore, who had resigned.

Members Cox and Myrick argued against the resolution because they thought it may hinder renewing of the expiring penny tax and could encourage breakaway school systems; but others thought the opposite: it would prevent breakaways and help renew the penny tax because that is used to operate and staff possible new facilities.

Cox and Myrick also called it not fair and equitable to their less wealthy districts -- but others countered voters in those districts chose to vote down recent tax renewal proposals and it was not fair to the other (more affluent) districts not to have the option of enacting special taxes on their own to address their needs.

Fairhope representative Christenberry: "Some areas are going to always vote no (tax renewals) ... and other areas will suffer. This allows us another option to do it ... ." 

The new zones roughly follow existing school board districts but are not numbered with the same designations. 

Orange Beach/Gulf Shores and Fairhope feeder patterns have discussed special tax districts: it was one of the options mentioned in a recent education study commissioned by the city's Educational Advisory Committee (by Akrobos Consulting Group).

The money raised could be used for new school construction or any other purpose stated in the referendum before the voters of the district.

The beach cities need $65 million to relieve overcrowding with a new high school, according to a Orange Beach councilman who attended this meeting.

Akrobos is expected to make a presentation of its findings at a Fairhope city council meeting later this month.

The new Fairhope feeder pattern special tax district is shown in green below:


Anonymous said...

Why not the rest of county breakaway from the naysayers of Bay Minette and Elberta?

Anonymous said...

In Alabama, there can only be county school systems and city school systems, so by law you could not divide Baldwin County up into 2 or more systems. If that could be done, the Eastern Shore would have separated a long time ago, I suspect.

Anonymous said...

County commissioners need to man up now and make the penny tax permanent and end the insecurity.

Not likely though.

Anonymous said...

In April, the property tax valuation notices were sent out. My neighbors and I all found a significant hike in the land portion of the valuation . For my property it was $45,000. I have a 66' x 132' lot in Fairhope. The hike in value was a 22% increase. In 2014, the increase in the land valuation was $50,000; a 33% increase. So in three years my land valuation has gone up 55%. I conducted an informal survey of neighbors and friends who live throughout Baldwin County; all had significant increases. Let's see, the only two ways to currently get money for the schools is through taxation and valuation. The ballot measures for taxation failed, so it seems the county is taking the valuation route to fund the schools. The valuation route does not require voter approval. And now they want to establish a special tax district in certain places? Those of us subject to those special district will feel as though we are taxed twice. And then Eddie Tyler goes on about the dire need to renew the penny sales tax. I am appealing our property valuation, will oppose the special tax district and vote no on the renewal of the penny tax. I also do not feel the BCBOE has ever made a good business case for increased taxes. They are not transparent at all. I would like to see some press coverage of the significant hike in land valuations and relation to school funding given that the ballot measures for increased mills failed and some of the renewal measures failed as well.

Anonymous said...

Wrong! Your property values are recovering but still lower than they were in 2007, before the great recession!

Anonymous said...

I am looking at my chart of property valuations for the 12 years we have owned this property. The current assessed value exceeds that of 2007 assessed values. So I cannot agree with you that the values are still lower than 2007.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the Board only gets to keep a small % of property tax revenue, the rest is sent up to Montgomery to be spread around for other systems. Equity funding needs to be changed.