Tallassee schools call for community to get behind tax increase

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

TALLASSEE, AL (WSFA) - The City of Tallassee recently passed a sales tax increase to try to help fund its school system in the face of state budget cuts. In a few days, it will jump from 8% to 9%.

Now, school leaders are making one last push, calling for the community to continue "shop local" despite the higher tax.

Teachers across the state are fighting to do more with less when it comes to education funding. And with the possibility of more proration announcements in the near future, Tallassee High School Principal Bobby Abrams says extra revenue from the sales tax increase will help fill gaps.

"We're hoping to save teaching units and be able to give teachers needed classroom supplies," Abrams said.

The school has posted signs, reminding folks that more dollars spent in town translates to more dollars in the classroom.

City leaders expect the increase to generate an additional $800,000 dollars for schools, and while some local business owners aren't fond of the tax increase, fearing it could hurt their sales, most parents feel just the opposite.

Rhonda Peaden, who has a son at Tallassee High School, said, "I don't mind paying the extra.  As long as they use it for the schools and use it wisely, I'm all for it."

"As a parent, I don't mind it.  I have six kids in city schools," said Gregory Anecito.

In fact, Anecito is in favor of additional taxes to fund schools, especially since Tallassee is one of two Elmore county towns without a local property tax.

He said, "They really need to raise our property taxes in order to help. That would help. The 1% is not going to help at all."

But over at Tallassee High School, they have high hopes the tax hike will make a difference, calling it an investment in education.

When the city voted for this tax increase, they also voted to continue an existing tax.

The revenues from that existing tax will fund a new bond issue the city will use to fix the sewer system. @

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