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Autauga County Commission votes to move forward with property tax increase

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 12:00 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 10, 2021 at 10:17 PM CST
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AUTAUGA COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Autauga County Commission voted to move forward on a resolution to bring an ad valorem tax increase.

The vote happened after the commission voted to table the issue back in November after a public hearing that allowed residents to weigh in on the proposal.

“I think that county commissioners, for the most part, recognize that we do have quite a few needs. We’ve got several old buildings that are inadequate. I think they realized that the people have realized that we’ve got to do something,” said Superintendent Timothy Tidmore.

Autauga County Schools is asking for a 15 mill property tax increase to help with capital improvement projects. The school system currently collects 10 mills. Three of those mills are from the state. Those three mills will be eliminated if the 15 are approved. This would bring the total millage to 22.

If passed, the 30-year tax would bring over $17 million a year instead of the $7.9 million the school system now receives.

Tidmore explained that the additional funds would be used for construction projects to fix aging infrastructure and educational programs.

“It’s important to note, too, the plan is just a skeleton plan. We’ll be getting input from the communities that will be impacted. It basically starts with the building of a new kindergarten school that has nothing to do with the tax increase, we’re able to do that, said Tidmore. “Also, part of the plan would be to replace the current Prattville High School. It’s not adequate for a current modern high school with the curriculum offerings that we that we have for our students. It will be able to be revitalized as the new prep will junior high school.”

The next step will require action from the legislature, where the resolution will again need approval. Once that’s done, there will be a referendum set for the public to vote.

Tidmore says they plan to launch a website to help educate the public.

“You know, unfortunately, a lot of times in situations like this, there’s a lot of misinformation that’s given out. We encourage people, once the website goes live, to look at it or to call us, and we can walk through some things. Anything that we put out with information in it will have the source attached to it, said Tidmore. “Schools really are one of the main driving factors in cities and counties, and improved schools will improve the economic offerings that the county can have. It improves land values. So investing in education is really investing in your future of our county and really, of our state and nation.”

The increase would add an additional $150 to $170 per year in property taxes for a home with an assessed valued of $100,000. The increase would be more for homes valued higher.

For a home with an assessed value of $100,000, Tidmore said the increase would be about $10 more per month.

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