Montgomery mayor, predecessor encourage MPS property tax vote

Mayors talk MPS tax proposal

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The moment of truth is quickly approaching for Montgomery County property owners. Do you accept a property tax millage increase or reject it for Montgomery County schools? Mayor Steven Reed counted on his predecessor Friday to lend a hand and a voice.

One final appeal.

“We’ve been able to build that coalition to get to this point of support for investing in our public schools," said Reed.

“We see the light at the end of the tunnel," said former Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.

A show of unity between Reed and Strange.

Both men encouraged property owners to vote yes for the property tax millage increase, a package that would raise the millage from 10 mills to 22 mills, enough, they say, to raise an additional $33 million a year for Montgomery Public Schools.

“And so with a modest amount of money, we can fix our schools. We can add mental health. We can add to the arts, and music," said Strange.

But not so fast, according to the Take Back Our Republic, an organization based in Auburn that has spent thousands of dollars on social media and radio ads along with commercials telling voters to reject the millage increase.

“And we dug a little deeper and realized they didn’t even take a look at how Montgomery County is actually spending their money and there were no public hearings," said Take Back Our Republic President Francis Johnson.

Montgomery County public school leaders dispute Johnson’s charge and so did Strange.

“And they will be accountable. There will be accountability," said Strange.

If the proposal fails on Tuesday?

“Failure is not an option. We’re not even thinking about it from that standpoint," said Reed.

With just four days to go, it comes down to Montgomery County property owners. Four days to mull it over.

School leaders say under the proposed millage increase the average property in Montgomery County would pay an additional $12.75 per month.

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