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Chambers Commission approves special election for school tax

The Chambers County Commission voted unanimously Monday to approve four resolutions to request and call a special election on the renewal and continuation of the school tax. The special election will be held on Aug. 31.

Monday’s discussion was the next step required to continue the school tax imposed in 1996 and would be in effect for another 25 years if passed by voters. On May 3, both Lanett City Schools and the Chambers County Schools Board of Education met in special called meetings to pass resolutions that Chambers County Commission approved calling for a special election to re-levy the ad valorem taxes.

The ballot will consist of one question with two answer options; FOR proposed taxation or AGAINST proposed taxation, voters will select one answer. The question on the ballot will read: “Shall the governing body of Chambers County, Alabama, be authorized to levy annually, for a period of twenty-five (25) successive years, commencing with the levy for the tax year that will begin on October 1, 2021 (for which tax year taxes will become due and payable on October 1, 2022), for public school purposes in said county, a special property tax at the rate of sixteen cents on each one hundred dollars (equal to 1.6 mills on each dollar) of the assessed value of the taxable property in said county, which special tax shall be in renewal and continuation of the special tax at the same rate and for the same purpose that is now being levied in the said county?”

4Resolution No. 06.07.2021.1 – 1.6 mill countywide school tax in Chambers County

This resolution includes 214 residents that are both electors and property owners locating in this tax district as required by law. McCoy also said for this election to pass, a supermajority was required in order to continue the 1.6 mill tax. In order to reach a supermajority, the votes must reach 60 percent of those voting. This is a continuation of the current tax rate with no changes.

  • 4Resolution No. 06.07.2021.2 – 5 mill countywide school tax in Chambers County

This resolution also required and included a petition of at least 200 electors and property owners in Chambers County. Unlike the 1.6 mill district, this only requires a majority vote to be passed. This is a continuation of the current tax rate with no changes.

  • 4Resolution No. 06.07.2021.3 – 4.1 mill countywide school tax in the county school district in Chambers County

This resolution does not require a petition and requires a majority vote

  • 4Resolution No. 06.07.2021.4 – 4.1 mill countywide school tax in the Lanett City School District in Chambers County

This resolution does not require a petition and requires a majority vote

Lanett City Schools Superintendent Jennifer Boyd thanked the commission for passing each of these resolutions.

“I can’t express how important these taxes are to us and our local revenue,” Boyd said. “When we look at our budget, about 21% of our budget comes from our local revenue with the property taxes being the biggest chunk. And you think about some of the things that we’re able to do from those revenues such as after-school programs. There are some salaries and instructional support. When you think about the importance of those things. it kind of speaks to the volume of and the magnitude of how important these tax receipts are to us. And so thank you for voting in favor of the elections.”

Chambers County School District Superintendent Casey Chambley echoed Boyd’s sentiments and thanked the commission.

“Thank you for your willingness to help us with this tax situation,” Chambley said. “Revenue for us is vital. And having the revenue to run our school system, and to run it efficiently, and to do it within buildings that our children deserve to be in is expensive. So, we really depend on this money. I appreciate you stepping up and helping us.”