On Nov. 16 citizens living in St. Clair County were able to approve or deny a 5 mill increase for the school system. This property tax increase request is part of the 2021 Fall Referendum.
“We’re truly grateful to the people of our community for believing in us and supporting our children,” said Pell City Schools Superintendent Dr. James Martin.
“We truly were out front with our plan and were willing to answer the tough questions when asked. We provided as much information as possible to b
Martin said that being transparent with the public and answering tough questions was a key part of getting their millage increase approved. He said it was important to explain the full purpose of the millage request because “people want to know the what and why.”
“Especially when you’re asking for people to invest. It’s important for people to know where the money is going and how we’re going to go about making things happen for our children,” said Martin.
Martin and the Pell City BOE started campaigning last May by rolling out plans. Martin and others presented the plans and the tax increase to the community from July up to the voting day.
“We’re going to start honoring the commitments that we made to our public and go about formulating our calendars. People believe in us to do the right and do what we said we’re going to do, but at the same time, we have to honor those commitments,” said Martin.
He’s hoping the people who voted no to the increase will begin to trust the school system as it starts following through on their promises.
Martin said his next steps will include making plans to ensure that the school system will honor commitments they advertised while campaigning.
“I look forward as a community making Pell City School System the best it can be for every child that walks through the doors, and we took a big step in that direction tonight,” said Martin.
The Moody district passed the vote by 3, which is subject to change as provisional ballots will be counted next Tuesday.
Instead of being turned away when voters aren’t on the roll or they are having ID issues, their vote is cast into provisional ballots. Moody’s poll numbers are really only ones among the districts that could likely change the verdict due to these added ballots.
Millage is a rate used to calculate property tax. 1 mill is $10 per $100,000. 5 mills are equal to $50 per $100,000. At 13.5 plus the requested 5 more, property tax would increase to $180.50 per $100,000.