People in Huntsville voted to re-establish an ad valorem tax for Huntsville City Schools in a special election.
There was tremendous support shown for Huntsville City Schools. Over 90% of voters said ‘yes’ to re-affirm 15.5 mills in ad valorem taxes.
Huntsville City School Board President Elisa Ferrell said, “Now, this is just helping us maintain what we already had in place. There were four separate taxes. They were merged into one, and it makes sure that everyone in the city limits of Huntsville is paying the same rate.”
Huntsville residents in Madison, Morgan and Limestone counties will now pay equal taxes to help fund Huntsville City Schools. This local funding adds up to nearly 40% of the school systems budget.
“It’s a substantial amount of money and with that we are able to offer more course offerings, pre-k, athletic opportunities, all kinds of things. This money helps make our schools innovative. It helps make our system provide rich curriculum, and have small classroom sizes, so it’s very important to the quality of education our children recieve,” said Ferrell.
The old tax law was written in the early 1900s and didn’t account for Huntsville’s growth. Those laws don’t include Huntsville taxpayers living in Limestone and Morgan counties.
This ad valorem tax update will help fund high cost students.
“Those students live the furthest away from schools so our transportation costs are higher,” said Ferrell. “In town, we can take a bus, we can drop off elementary kids. We can then go pick up middle school kids and then go pick up high school kids, so we can use one bus for three routes, but when you’re so far out, we have to have multiple buses.”
Taxes are not expected to go up as a result of the vote. The new tax code will go into effect in October 2020 and go through 2045.
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