Montgomery faith-based leaders urge property tax vote to help schools

Updated: Oct. 27, 2020 at 3:36 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - One week before election day, Montgomery faith-based leaders urged voters to support a property tax increase. They say it’s time to invest in our future.

“God implores us to provide for every child’s quality education in a safe, clean environment,” said Rabbi Scott Kramer of Agudath Israel Etz Ahayem Synagogue.

“Our school system is really the backbone to what our children have. It is a safety net,” said Richard Williams of Metropolitan United Methodist Church.

“We all deserve a quality education. And we all deserve the opportunity to learn and to grow,” said Arthur Watts, chief financial officer for Montgomery Public Schools.

Montgomery Public Schools currently receives the state’s minimum in local funding.

If passed, the tax would increase from 10 mils to 22 mils, bringing an additional $33 million to MPS.

Superintendent Ann Roy Moore and Mayor Steven Reed say the money is desperately needed.

“We need for everybody in the community to understand this is really not a political issue, is not about taxes, it is about supporting public schools, and doing what we have to do as a citizenry, to take care about children,” said Moore.

“One week from today, we have a choice. And we have a chance, we have a choice to make, and a chance to turn turn the page in this community for all, not just those who are in our public schools,” said Reed.

If approved, the average homeowner would see an increase of about $12 a month in property taxes.

Auburn-based democracy reform organization Take Back Our Republic says MPS needs accountability first and is asking Montgomery voters to vote no Moore responded Tuesday, saying MPS has its finances in order and anyone can check the financial reports on the state’s website.

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