PIKE ROAD, AL (WSFA) - For a select group of Pike Road preservationists, the upcoming tax referendum vote is about more than money. It's about sustaining a rural lifestyle during a tough economy.
Dr. Joe Scanlan explains, "It's the wrong amount of money, the wrong time, and the wrong place. It has the whole town divided."
In Pike Road there are two significant groups: the preservationists and the patriots. Both want a school system, but have different ideas about how to fund it.
The patriots are in full support of the tax referendum, and a school at the Waters. As for long-time Pike Road residents like Dr. Joe Scanlan, "I think there are ways to do this. We do not have the base or businesses. All the burden will fall on homeowners."
Scanlan says the town must be secure before building a school system. From a fiscal perspective, this doesn't add up, "If someone asked me to vote yes for education in Pike Road, I would pledge yes. But then when I realize what the tax implication is."
The Town of Pike Road's study on the economic impact of the proposed property tax shows families with a $220,000 home, would pay a total of $3,500 over 8 years. The flip side, a new school system could result in that typical home's property value rising as much as $45,000.
"We need city services. We are putting the cart before the horse. We are building a school to help shape a town. Let's build the town, then build the school everyone in Pike Road wants."
A group of Pike Road residents, asking their neighbors to do the math and make a calculated decision before heading to the polls on October 11th.