Commission discusses special election

Published 4:04 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2019

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Lawyer Kane Burnette came before the Chilton County Commission on behalf of the Chilton County Board of Education during a work session on Oct. 21 to explore the possibility of holding a special election for public school purposes within the county.

The special election would be held to renew the ad valorem taxes, which recently expired due to the end of the previous 20-year agreement in place.

According to Burnette, 10 mills are levied annually in the county, with eight of those to be voted upon.

Burnette explained that the special election would have to be held by the end of February 2020.

“This may have been something that should have been done a little earlier, so we’re on a pretty tight deadline,” Commission chairman Joseph Parnell said. “The board wants us to work with them, and they are committed to the process.”

According to Parnell, the members of the Commission had met with the school board earlier in the afternoon and discussed the issue prior to the work session.

“If the people were to vote this down, the county won’t get their matching state taxes,” Parnell said. “Either way, it has to be done.”

Commissioner Jimmie Hardee asked Burnette if there would be any extra taxes being voted on if a special election was held.

Burnette verified that no extra new taxes would be involved. It would strictly be the taxes that had already been in place to help education in the county.

“We have kicked the can down the road,” Hardee said. “This should have been done last year. Now, we sit with it in our lap.”

According to Hardee, he spoke about the issue to both Jason Griffin and Tommy Glasscock while they were campaigning for the superintendent seat.

Once again, Hardee made it clear that the vote will not raise taxes but just assure that the schools continue to receive the same revenue they have been for the past 20 years.

“Nobody wants to renew a tax on an election year, but the tax has been on the books for 20 years,” Hardee said. “I’m not worried about that, I’m worried about the future of our children.”

The Commission planned to discuss the situation moving forward and will come up with a final decision at a later date.