PIKE ROAD, AL (WSFA) - Some Pike Road residents are de-annexing from the town. They say they don't want their property taxes increased. Town leaders have proposed raising taxes up to 25 mills to pay for a new school district.
Citizens of Pike Road were given the option to de-annex after the December agreement between the City of Montgomery and the Town of Pike Road. The town is giving citizens until May 25th to petition to de-annex.
"We want people to be a part of Pike Road; we want them to be involved in the process. Be a part of the community and we want them to be where they want to be," said Chris Dunn, Mayor Pro Tempore of Pike Road. ''We don't want anyone in Pike Road who doesn't want to be there."
Dunn said not every request to de-annex will be approved. Bruce Brannen, a retired teacher, is one of the four property owners who have been approved to de-annex. He said the potential property tax increase was the last straw. The legislature has approved a bill allowing the town to hold a referendum to levy up to 25 mills in new taxes.
"It would essentially double our property taxes, which increase every year anyway," Brannen said. "We already have a school system in place that we're committed to fund."
Dunn said he understood the concerns of residents in Pike Road, but said the school district is a good thing for everyone in the community.
"The current 25 mills that everyone is paying, we don't believe is enough," Dunn said. "The studies from the schools that we want to build and the programs we want to have is going to take a little bit more."
The property tax referendum bill is now awaiting the governor's signature. The town will host listening sessions on the school issue on May 26th and June 9th. The meetings will be held at Town Hall and run from 6 P.M. until 8 P.M.