LOWNDES CO., AL (WSFA) - Lowndes County voters renewed a million-dollar valorem tax that benefits the school system during Tuesday's elections.
The 7 mills ad valorem tax, which is expected to generate $770,000 for county schools, has been renewed for another 25 years. The tax is set to continue on Oct. 1, 2018
Lowndes County has seven public schools and operates on a $20M+ budget.
County tax records show the average value of a home in Lowndes County is around $74,000. 7 mills on a property like this would mean that homeowners would pay slightly more than $51 a year in property taxes.
In the meantime, the county population has declined since 1992, going from 13,500 to around 10,500. That doesn't necessarily mean annual tax revenues would be less since many of those who moved away may still own property.
County leaders say without the tax, it would be difficult for the schools to make ends meet.
Similar amendments also passed in Tallapoosa and Marengo counties.
In Tallapoosa, the proposal was a major part of an agreement the county school district made with Tallapoosa County Commission two years ago.
At that time, the commission approved a one-cent sales tax hike to benefit county schools, with the understanding the school system would come up with an alternative source of funding within 36 months. That sales tax increase is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2018.