Huntsville special election Dec. 10 addresses taxes for local education

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Huntsville voters will go to the polls December 10 for a special election to recommit 15.5 mills in ad valorem taxes that have supported local education as far back as 1916.

A review of the school tax legislation last year indicated some ambiguity in the language.

The current laws, first written in 1916 and expanded in the 60s and 70s, reference property in “Huntsville, Madison County” which doesn’t accurately reflect Huntsville city limits that now extend into Limestone County and Morgan County.

FAQ: Are Huntsville residents living in Limestone and Morgan Counties currently paying property taxes for education?
According to, currently City of Huntsville residents living in Limestone and Morgan counties are paying property taxes for education. This law will not change their tax rates.

To correct this matter, the City of Huntsville worked with Huntsville City Schools and the Madison County Legislative Delegation on a statutory solution. The legislative delegation led the effort in Montgomery to eliminate three of the school property taxes—currently 15.5 mills—and authorize a vote to reinstate the 15.5 mills in the form of one tax with new language re-dedicating its collection to schools.

FAQ: What is a mill tax rate?
According to, The mill rate is the amount of tax payable per dollar of the assessed value of a property. 1 mill is equal to $1 in property tax, which is levied per every $1,000 of your property’s assessed value which is 1/10 of the appraised value. For example, for 22 mills a home valued at $100,000 would amount to $220 a year.

“These revenues are a key factor in our ability to provide quality education,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “It’s the Huntsville community saying we value knowledge and learning and we recognize this contribution is one of the differentiators in what makes Huntsville a great place to live.”

Mayor Battle emphasized the public referendum does not increase property taxes. “Property owners will continue to pay what they have always paid and not one cent more,” he said. 

By deleting the old tax and its outdated language and replacing it with this new legislation, the City of Huntsville will ensure all property owners within its limits pay an equitable share of taxes to support schools and education.

“This vote is truly a vote for our students, ensuring the continued success and excellence of the education system in Huntsville City Schools,” Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Christie Finley said. “Thanks to everyone for taking time to go to the polls on December 10 and for reaffirming how much we value our students, our future, in the Rocket City.”

For polling information and additional details on the December 10 vote, visit

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