Senate votes to allow tax vote

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2003

A proposed 9-mill property tax increase for Shelby County finally cleared the Alabama Senate last week.

The Senate has been in a deadlock since the beginning of the Legislative session with the Democratic majority facing off against the Republican minority.

The local legislation, which will allow the Shelby County Board of Education to hold a referendum on the

property tax hike finally cleared after being stuck in the Senate since March.

The legislation passed through the House early on in the session.

Funds from the tax increase will pay for capital improvement projects for the school system.

Now, however, School Superintendent Evan Major said: &uot;We’ve got to start thinking about what we want to do … when the election should be called.&uot;

Major said the board is going to have to take into consideration what Gov. Bob Riley is going to call for and how it will impact Shelby County Schools.

However, Major said of his school system: &uot;We know we will continue to grow.&uot;

And he said the school system is going to continue to need additional schools as well as classrooms.

But Major said the school system does not want to &uot;confuse&uot; the voters of the county.

He said if a referendum had been held on the proposed 9 mill property tax increase for schools this month, as the board had originally requested, and if it had been able to start collecting on that tax in October, the increase would have generated more than $13 million to get needed capital projects started.

However, as the bill for the tax referendum was held up in the Senate and the vote was not held in May,

Major said that $13 million &uot;will never be replaced.&uot;

The school superintendent

said when the board decides what to do about the referendum, it will have to make a decision based on what is best for the state and what is best for Shelby County