Hoover school system revises tax proposal

Published 3:35 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hoover citizens could vote on the Hoover School System’s proposal to extend a 24-mill property tax April 27.

The property tax, which provides funding for the school system, already does not expire for 18 years.

The Hoover City Council had a first reading of the ordinance Feb. 1. The second reading, public hearing and consideration for adoption will be Feb. 15.

If the city council approves the proposal, it will go for a public vote April 27.

Hoover schools spokesperson Jason Gaston said the proposal, if voted in, would extend the tax by 18 additional years. The original proposal had no time limit on the tax.

“The original submission was without limit to time. After discussions and input from our city administration, we decided to not propose the levy without limit to time and have a fixed extension period,” Gaston said.

After Hoover Mayor Tony Petelos reviewed the original proposal, he recommended the school system add a time limit to help improve its chances of passing. That led to the school system reviewing the proposal.

Gaston has said the 24-mill property tax is not a new tax. By extending the tax, the school system would be able to refinance its debt, which is approximately $185 million.

The school system currently pays $16 million each year on 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.