Petelos suggests property tax should have time limit

Published 5:22 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos will push for the Hoover Board of Education to consider putting an end date on the proposed extension of a 24-mill property tax.

The tax, which provides funding for city schools, doesn’t expire for another 18 years. However, school board officials say extending the tax would provide the system with the option to refinance its debt, which is approximately $185 million.

Petelos said he feels the measure, which must be voted on by the public, has a better chance of passing if there is a time limit. He proposed a time limit of 30 years.

“I think that the referendum would be much easier to pass if there’s a time on there, instead of it being indefinite,” he said.

Petelos said he’s spoken with school system officials and they were receptive to his suggestion.

“I’ve always thought that it needed to have a certain date on it,” he said. “This is a way to get millions of dollars for the school system without raising taxes. This is a way to reduce the monthly debt service, which will amount to millions of dollars.”

He said the citizens he’s spoken to are unanimous in their support of having an end date for the tax extension. However, Petelos said he will support the extension even if it doesn’t have an end date.

The resolution will be on the Hoover City Council agenda for Jan. 19. Petelos said if it passes, a public election will be held March 23.

The property tax provided $37 million for Hoover City Schools in the last fiscal year. The 24-mill tax is equal to $240 on a $100,000 home.