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BOE makes first move for 10 mill tax vote

By By BILL CRIST – Publisher
Garrett passed along his advice immediately after the board unanimously approved a resolution seeking a 10-mill increase in the ad valorem tax.
The resolution will now go before the Escambia County Commission, which will hold a public hearing on March 10. At that point, the commission will vote whether to send it to the state legislature. It is expected that the commission will vote to do so. According to Garrett, if the legislature adopts the proposed amendment, it will give the county permission to call for an election, probably in late May. He said that Escambia County's legislative delegation has expressed a willingness to help get the measure before the county's voters.
He said that if it did not pass in this legislative session, the election would take place in the fall.
The resolution, passed by the board to be forwarded to the county commission reads; "Be it resolved by the Escambia County Board of Education that the Escambia County Commission is hereby requested and authorized to initiate the steps necessary under amendment number 373 to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, (often referred to as "the Lid Bill Amendment") to increase by 10 mills the rate of three mill countywide tax for public school purposes presently levied under amendment three on property situated in Escambia County pursuant to the election held in the county on May 8, 1979."
Garrett pointed out that approximately 80 percent of the school's budget is allocated by the state for such things as salaries.
Superintendent Melvin (Buck) Powell said that the only areas to make cuts are those such as textbooks, technology, utilities and professional development.
The Brewton City School Board has called a meeting for Friday to discuss a similar resolution that will go hand-in-hand with the county's.