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Voters will get say on 7.5 mill increase

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle voters will be deciding more than just who will be their next mayor and city council representatives when they head to the polls Aug. 24.
A 7.5 mill property tax referendum will be included on the August ballot. Hartselle's City Council voted in February to hold the referendum and met in a special called council meeting Monday to adopt the wording as it will appear on the ballot.
Voters will be asked to decide whether they support the 7.5 mill increase, which would mean an additional $75 per $100,000 of property.
Each mill costs tax payers $10 on every $100,000 of property, including homes and autos. Hartselle currently has some of the lowest property taxes in the state. Alabama's property taxes are among the lowest in the nation.
This is the latest of numerous attempts to raise revenue in Hartselle, with plans ranging from an earlier 10 mill property tax increase and a 1-cent sales tax boost to attempts to legalize alcohol sales in the city.
All have failed.
City officials hope the selling point this time will be a portion of the money will be set aside for the school system.
The plan calls for the tax revenue to be divided three ways: 2.5 mills for road improvement and construction; 2.5 mills for the city's capital improvement plan; and 2.5 mills for the Hartselle School System. The money for the school system would be pledged towards construction of new buildings and expansion of existing ones.
School officials said the system is in need of a new junior high school, a project that could cost as much as $25 million. The tax money would be a drop in the bucket, but city council members said it would be a start.
According to Mayor Clif Knight, the 7.5 mills would generate an additional $650,000 for the city.