Commission approves tax renewal special election

The Chilton County Commission approved a request by the Board of Education to hold a special election on Feb. 11 for the renewal of the ad valorem tax used to help fund the county school system.

The current tax resolution is set to expire after 20 years, and a vote is needed to renew it for another 30 years.

“We have no option but to pass it or shutdown the school system,” Commission Chairman Joseph Parnell said.

According to Parnell, since Chilton County Schools’ inception it has relied on funding from such provisions in order to provide the residents and students a fundamentally adequate public education.

The 30-year term proposed for the tax renewal is the maximum number of years allowed by the state.

Although the length of the tax, if renewed, will be for an extended period of time the amount taxed will remain the same.

Four resolutions will be on the ballot to continue the tax. The resolutions will pertain to eight mills of ad valorem tax.

Two other “non-voted” mills are also on the books.

Prior to coming before the Commission, the BOE gathered 200 signatures from residents as part of a qualifying petition and approved their part of the process.

According to a press release, if the eight mills of “voted” taxes fail to be voted upon, it would be incumbent upon the Commission to levy an additional eight mills of ad valorem tax under the direction, mandate and authority of Amendment 778 of the Alabama state constitution. This would satisfy the minimum Foundation Program funding obligation.

Based on the 2020 fiscal year budget issued by the Alabama State Department of Education, Chilton County Schools is set to be funded from a base enrollment of 7,585 students.

The state program allocation for 2020 is $41,227,658. The county’s ad valorem match money is calculated to be $5,358,970.

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