Representative supports tax renewal

Recently, there has been some discussion about whether the Shelby County Board of Education is trying to pass a tax renewal or a tax increase. Many have argued that extending the tax beyond the six-year expiration deadline equates to a tax increase. I beg to differ. While it is true that residents are being asked to extend the number of years the taxes will be paid, we will continue to pay the exact same rate – 30 mills.

These taxes are vital to not only our school district, but to our entire county. Having a good school district impacts our property values, our ability to train future employees and leaders, and attract new business and industry. I urge all Shelby County residents to vote for the tax renewal on Feb. 8.

Over the past several decades, Shelby County residents made an investment into the lives of our children by approving our current rate of 30 mills of ad-valorem taxes. We made that investment because we believed that our children were deserving of the best education.

The Shelby County Board of Education has wisely used our investment to build first class facilities – 15 new schools over the past 25 years. Nearly every area of this county has seen new schools constructed. The schools in other areas have seen expansions and renovations, all done to help control the explosive growth that our county has experienced during the past 15 years.

This investment has also helped to implement programs that turned Shelby County Schools into the model school district that we see today – programs such as gifted education, art, music, technology and physical education. These programs (and the personnel needed to implement them) are designed to help produce well-rounded students who excel academically and showcase their various talents through the fine arts. The revenue has also helped to pay for maintenance and upkeep of facilities and transportation. I hope you will join me in supporting our schools by voting in favor of the tax renewal on Feb. 8.

State Rep. Mike Hill, R-Shelby, is a Columbiana resident.