Tuscaloosa County residents get rundown on property tax vote Thursday

By WVUA 23 News Reporter Gracie Johnson

The Tuscaloosa County School System held a meeting Thursday night to hear from parents and residents regarding the proposed property tax increase.

During the meeting members of the Tuscaloosa County School System presented in detail the funds they presently have and the funds they need so they can make improvements for schools in the district.

To put it simply, right now most residents in Tuscaloosa County pay the lowest property tax amount permitted by law. If the Feb. 14 vote passes, Tuscaloosa County residents who are zoned for TCSS will see an increase of up to 8 mills on their property taxes. If the 3-mill and 5-mill ballot measures pass, homeowners will pay about $75 a year more for every $100,000 their home is appraised.

“The way (TCSS Superintendent Keri) Johnson and the others talked about everything it really did make perfect sense,” said TCSS parent Melissa Bonds. “They laid out what what they were going to do, the projects they wanted to hit first, everything made sense and everything was for the kids. It’s going to make everything better.”

This proposed tax increase would add about $15 million a year to the TCSS budget, and would go toward items including:

  • More school resource officers
  • Increased mental health resources
  • Art and music classes
  • Career tech classes
  • More elective classes
  • Pre-K available to all students
  • Dual enrollment scholarships
  • Construction of a county-wide performing arts venue

Some parents said they’re concerned about the proposed increase, but others said they can’t wait to vote yes.

“Absolutely I am going to vote yes,” said Marlin Caddell, a TCSS parent. “You know what it looks like. You know what we need. So it’s hard for me to see other parents not coming to support that and seeing the need. Even people who don’t have kids can see the need for education and how much that empowers and grows our community and how important that is.”

The vote will take place on Feb. 14.

Residents who live within the city of Tuscaloosa and are zoned for Tuscaloosa City Schools are not voting in this election.

Categories: Elections, Featured, Local News