Montgomery property tax referendum moves to governor’s desk

Montgomery property tax referendum moves to governor’s desk
Saturday morning the Alabama Senate passed a bill Saturday that would allow the people to vote on a Montgomery County property tax increase for education (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A bill that would allow the people to vote on a Montgomery County property tax increase for education goes to the governor’s desk.

The Alabama House approved of an amendment proposed by Sen. Will Barfoot, R-Pike Road, Saturday afternoon.

If the governor signs it, the measure will go to Montgomery County voters for final approval.

The bill would increase the ad valorem tax on all taxable property in Montgomery County except the town limits of Pike Road.

The proposed increase would result in an additional $33 million in revenue each year for Montgomery Public Schools and would mean the average family would pay $12.75 more per month in property taxes, according to Montgomery Public Schools.

Rep. Kirk Hatcher hopes it is put on the ballot in November, but he said the decision is up to MPS.

The measure faced an upward battle earlier this week in the Alabama House. Rep. Reed Ingram, R-Pike Road, decided not to contest the bill after an amendment was added to push back the collection of the tax to Oct. 1, 2022. MPS would receive the money in 2023.

Sen. Will Barfoot, R-Pike Road, proposed an amendment to sunset the 6 mills that would go toward capital improvements in public schools. This means lawmakers would need to approve the 6 mills after five years of MPS collecting the tax.

“It’s a blessed day for the citizens of Montgomery, Alabama. I want to thank the members of the Alabama Senate body for their support. This bill gives the people of Montgomery the right to vote on a referendum to provide $12.25 of their ad valorem tax to be given to the Montgomery Public School System," said Sen. David Burkette. "In these uncertain economic times, this bill is designed to improve the quality of education here in the city of Montgomery and to be an economic boost to the system. The school system stands to benefit by roughly $33 million annually.”

In February, the Montgomery County Commission voted in favor of sending the proposed tax increase to state lawmakers.

In March, the Montgomery County Board of Education decided to hire lobbyists in hopes of moving forward with an election.

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