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Hartselle asked to continue support of schools

Randy Garrison

Hartselle Enquirer

 

Hartselle residents have much to be proud of in their school system. From outstanding academic achievements, state championships in athletics and award winning faculty members, Hartselle City School continue to be a crown jewel for Hartselle. In fact Hartselle City Schools is ranked the 8th best school system in the State of Alabama, and the 4th best system for value in the state. With both of these high rankings Hartselle is 62nd in ad valorem (property tax) per student in the state.

For many years, the citizens of Hartselle have felt a financial responsibility to offer the best education possible to their young people. In 1957, while still a part of the Morgan County School Board, a 7.3 mill property tax was approved by all of Morgan County to further financially support Hartselle students.

That tax was again approved in 1987 by a countywide vote.

This same amount of a 7.3-mil tax will once again be up for renewal. Currently, the 7.3 mills provide $930k to the Hartselle City School System. The funds enable the system to offer opportunities above and beyond what the State of Alabama funds as a minimum for school systems.

Hartselle schools are able to enhance extra academic offerings and support extracurricular activities such as athletics and band from the local funds that are generated by this property tax. The funds also enable each elementary school in Hartselle to have a full-time counselor on staff.

The only difference in the vote that will take place in October of this year is the wording of the ballot. Since the tax is a City of Hartselle property tax changes have been made so that only citizens in Hartselle will vote for the

Hartselle will vote for the tax. In prior votes, the tax was considered a district tax and was voted on by the entire county. After being changed to a municipal tax through an act by the state legislatures, it only will affect Hartselle residents and Hartselle schools, the 7.3 mill municipal tax would replace the 7.3 mill district tax.

The wording on the ballot will ask Hartselle voters to approve an increase of 7.3 mils in municipal property tax on October 27, 2015. However the increase will replace the current 7.3-mil district tax that is currently being collected. There will be no increase in the total property tax that citizens of Hartselle will be paying after the tax vote. If you as a property owner owe $146 in property taxes before the tax vote, you will still owe that same $146 after the tax vote.

The tax amounts to $.73 per $100 of accessed value of property in Hartselle. For a $100k home, the tax would be $73 prior to replacing the tax and $73 after the tax changes to a municipal tax. In other words, the funding for Hartselle schools will remain at the same level once the tax is approved as the existing funding level today.

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