Henry County approves special election for tax referendum

Posted by: Daniel Curtis - bio | email

ABBEVILLE, AL (WSFA) - The Henry County School system is struggling with cutbacks due to shortfalls in the state's education budget.

At the end of this past school year the Navy JROTC programs were on the verge of disappearing.

However there's new hope for these programs and it lies in the hands of the residents of Henry County.

The Navy JROTC program has been a part of Headland high school for 37 years but its future is now uncertain.

"I really want to finish this out," says Seth Sowell, a Headland NJROTC student.

Cutbacks in the Henry County were going to force this program and the one at Abbeville High School to close.

Now it appears, however, support from residents and the Henry County Commission may save it.

"We're already cut down to the bone," says Dennis Coe, superintendant for the Henry County School System.

The commission voted to hold a special election, where voters will get the chance to accept or reject a new 3 mil property tax increase.  The ballot will also include a 1 mil tax renewal.

The one mil tax increase was approved during last year's election with 56 percent voting yes; however for it pass it needs 60 percent of the vote.

"I think everyone knows this time it's just a renewal not a new tax, and I hope they vote yes on the 3 mil tax because the schools really need it," says Coe.

The taxes would help generate more than 350 thousand dollars which should be enough to keep the NJROTC programs alive.

The election is set for September 29th.  The new 3 mil tax will last for 8 years and the 1 mil tax will last for 30 years.

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