Pike Road property tax increase would help build new school

Pike Road Schools pushing 19 mills property tax increase

PIKE ROAD, Ala. (WSFA) - There is new information on the push to increase property taxes in Pike Road for more school funding.

Pike Road Schools Superintendent Chuck Ledbetter says the tax talk is all about a vision for the future and he’s committed to making sure Pike Road’s school system is one of the best in the state.

Ledbetter says the system has gained around 1,000 students over the last few years, currently serving more than 2,400 students.

The system has gone from one facility to three and they are almost full. That’s why the superintendent says the property tax hike is needed.

The money would pay to build a new Pike Road High School and allow the Georgia Washington campus to better accommodate junior high school students.

“The way that this process is set up is it has to go through the Legislature to allow our people to vote. What we’re asking for is to be able to allow our people to vote. We can show our need. And we can show how we came to what we’re looking at. But at the same time, we’re going to have to have a vote of the people, which is the way it should be. And if the people in Pike Road say yes, we want to go ahead and do this, then that’s something that we would do. And if not then we would have to do something different. But the need for more classroom space isn’t going to change. We’re going to have to have more classroom space no matter what we do,” Ledbetter said.

The 25.5 mill tax resolution is currently before lawmakers and must have local delegation support.

In that resolution, 6.5 mills of the increase is just a replacement tax, while 19 mills would be the increased tax.

Pike Road schools currently get 16 mills, so the increase would be more than double what they currently get.

If state lawmakers approve the resolution it would then go to Pike Road voters to decide on.

Ledbetter says it takes about five years to go from planning, getting a tax increase pushed, and construction before the new school would be built.

Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone says the system has done its homework and feels it has developed an amount to fulfill the need of building a new high school.

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