Amendments to appear on ballot Tuesday

Published 7:17 pm Saturday, November 1, 2008

One statewide amendment and another special election that could affect voters in Chilton County are on the ballot for Tuesday’s election.

Amendment 1 pertains to the state’s Education Trust Fund Rainy Day account. If the act passes, it would withdraw up to $245 million from the oil and gas trust fund and deposit it into the rainy day fund.

Rep. Jimmy Martin said the reason this act is being brought before the voters is because there is no additional money to put into the rainy day fund.

“All of the other money in the budget is earmarked,” Martin said. “There’s no money left except for the oil and gas money.”

Martin said the money withdrawn from the oil and gas trust fund would have to be repaid over the next seven years.

To pass, Amendment 1 must have a majority of voters statewide to vote yes.

The “Special Election” on the ballot pertains to the combining of the Tax Assessor and Tax Collector’s offices in Chilton County. If this act passed, it would create a county revenue commissioner that would handle the responsibilities of both offices, and it would add $10,000 to the salary of one of the offices.

A chief clerk would also have to be hired, and the county commission would set the salary of that position.

Martin said 62 of the state’s 67 counties currently use a revenue commissioner instead of offices of a tax assessor and tax collector. The act would take effect for the 2014 election or whenever there is a vacancy in either the tax assessor or tax collector offices, in which the offices would be combined then.

“I don’t know just what the interest is in this act,” Martin said. “I guess we’re going to know what the people think on Tuesday.”

The special election is only for Chilton County and doesn’t require a statewide vote.

Outside of the fire tax redistribution amendment for Chilton County, there are five other amendments on the ballot Tuesday, but they all pertain to local acts in Shelby County, the City of Madison, Blount County, Russell County and the City of Tuskegee.

“I normally don’t vote on those amendments,” Martin said. “I try to let those areas decide for themselves whether they want to pass it or not. Our state constitution for some reason requires those amendments to be passed statewide.”

– Brent Maze can be reached at