Proposed Elmore property tax hike would add $8.65M to training coffers
- Elmore County Commission plans a public hearing for Feb. 28 to discuss the tax increase.
- The meeting will be held at 5 pm at the Commission’s courtroom at 100 E. Commerce St., Wetumpka
WETUMPKA — A proposed eight-mill property tax increase to fund education in Elmore County would add about $80 per year to the tax payments on a home valued at $100,000.
The Board of Education is backing the eight-mill increase to be earmarked for capital projects and educational programs. If passed the increase would add an additional $8.65 million in funding to the schools. Superintendent Richard Dennis made a presentation for the plan Feb. 1 at the Elmore County Commission work session.
The Elmore County schools system, the 13th largest in the state, now operates with 10 mills for local funding. That’s the minimum in local funding required by the state. The system operates 15 schools with an enrollment of about 11,300, up some 660 students from the 2017-2018 school year.
“We are seeing the growth, and the growth will not stop,” Dennis said. “What we are trying to do is get a handle on the needs the system will be facing for the next 15 years.”
More:Elmore County Board of Education wants property tax increase
If passed the increase would actually be a net increase of seven mills. To get to the state mandated 10 mill minimum in local funding, there is one mill on the books. That mill will go off if the tax increase passes.
The money will go to projects countywide, Dennis said. The wish list includes a new Holtville High School, new heating and air conditioning systems in each school, new indoor athletic practice facilities at Wetumpka and Stanhope Elmore high schools, LED lighting on all campuses and replacing carpet in the schools with vinyl tile among other projects .
Of the increase about five-and-a-half mills will go to capital projects, with the remaining one-and-a-half mills going to educational programs including Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs and fine arts and other extra curricular activities.
The county commission will hold a public hearing Feb. 28 to discuss the tax increase. The meeting will be at 5 pm at the commission’s courtroom, 100 E. Commerce St., Wetumpka.
The commission has to approve the plan before it goes to the legislature for a bill to be passed calling for a public vote. If the bill is passes, voters in Elmore County will make the decision in a special election now planned for January, 2023.
“What this does is give the citizens of Elmore County 11 months to ask questions and become informed,” said Commission Chairman Troy Stubbs.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Marty Roney at email@example.com.