Ad Spot

Tax decision now in hands of legislature

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle's City Council is sending its request for a 10-mill property tax increase to the state legislature, a move Mayor Clif Knight concedes is "an exercise in futility."
The city council voted 4-2 to send the request to the local legislative delegation, even though the members said they won't approve the request unless the council vote calling for the referendum was unanimous.
Mayor Clif Knight and Councilman Alvin Abercrombie voted against sending the matter to the legislature. Knight said he was doing so because he knew it would be rejected. Abercrombie has been against the tax increase in the past and favors asking residents who want it to present a petition before any referendums are held.
Rep. Ronald Grantland and Sen. Tommy Ed Roberts said it has long been their practice to reject tax increase requests unless a council can agree unanimously on the referendum.
City Councilman Dick Carter, who had been voting against the tax increase referendum, changed his position Tuesday night. Carter said he voted in favor of this latest resolution because it gives Hartselle residents the final say.
"I will give the people a chance to vote, but under no circumstances can I support a 10-mill tax increase," he said.
The resolution sent to the legislature allows for 7 mills of the increase to go the city's general fund. The remaining 3 mills would be set aside in the city's coffers to be used for future school construction.
The council was operating under a tight time frame to get the request to the legislature.
When and if that matter fails to make it through the legislature, City Attorney Larry Madison has found a loophole that would allow the city to set the date of the referendum itself.
Alabama law allows municipalities to set a property tax referendum without legislative approval if the increase doesn't push the city past a 12.5 mill limit. Currently, 5 mills of property taxes go to the city. The council is considering a resolution that would raise property taxes 7.5 mills, bringing the total millage that goes to the city to 12.5. The state-set limit doesn't include property taxes levied for the school system.
The proposed resolution for the 7.5 mill increase splits the tax three ways: 2.5 mills for road construction and improvements; 2.5 mills for the city's general fund; and 2.5 mills for the school system.
The loophole also allows the council to permanently earmark the funds. A legislative resolution won't allow the city to earmark funds past their terms of office.
Knight said that resolution will be discussed at the council's next work session, scheduled for Feb. 23 at 6 p.m.

Hartselle

Bethel Baptist celebrates sesquicentennial 

Editor's picks

Cheers to the golden years: Columbia Cottage honors two centenarians 

Eva

Eva celebrates annual Frontier Days

Hartselle

Hartselle man guilty of rape of juvenile 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Police Department looks to fill six positions  

Falkville

Falkville sets agenda for 25th fall festival 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

New manufacturing program at Hartselle, Limestone schools 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Home Sweet Hartselle mural painted on Sparkman Street

Hartselle

Hartselle woman named to Inno under 25 

Hartselle

Volunteers, sponsors needed for Stars Over Hollywood prom 

Hartselle

Crowd gathers for 41st annual Depot Days 

Decatur

A heart for the arts: Hartselle art program receives River Clay grant

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Chiropractor released after charge of poisoning wife back in jail  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Morgan employees in line for 5 percent pay hike  

Hartselle

Chiropractor charged with poisoning wife released on bond 

Editor's picks

Hartselle homecoming kick-off showcases school spirit

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Depot Days returns Saturday  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Fitness Court unveiled at Sparkman Park  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle man allegedly poisoned wife with lead in murder attempt  

Hartselle

Crestline students enjoy third annual Ag Day

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Highway 36 reopens east of Hartselle 

At a Glance

Hartselle man eludes police, arrested on possession charges

Breaking News

Hartselle man arrested for attempted murder of wife

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

In the community: Highflying fun

x