Hoover School System withdraws request to consider tax extension

Published 11:33 am Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Hoover School System recently withdrew a request to the Hoover City Council to consider extending a 24-mill property tax indefinitely.

Hoover Schools spokesperson Jason Gaston said the request was withdrawn because school officials are considering putting a time limit on the tax extension.

“As we got deeper into the process, discussions arose over whether there should be a time limit or perpetuity on the tax extension,” Gaston said. “With that said, we withdrew the request so we could take a closer look at the big picture.”

He said school officials hope to get the tax extension request to the Hoover City Council in February or March.

The school board wants to move carefully on the issue to have the best chance of passing the request, Gaston said.

“There are different trains of thought surrounding the 24-mill property tax. Taxes are always a hot-button issue with the public, so we want to make sure that we are as deliberate about this process as possible,” he said. “We’re working closely with the city of Hoover to make sure this successfully moves forward.”

Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos has publicly said he believes the Board of Education should put an end date on the extension.

Gaston stressed the 24-mill property tax is not a new tax and could actually end up saving money for taxpayers.

“By extending the tax, we could refinance some debt,” he said.

The school system currently pays $16 million each year on the debt. If the debt was refinanced, the system could make lower payments and save money.

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.