Published 2:05 am Monday, June 19, 2006
Separate tax vote makes sense for Escambia County
Escambia County is considering a special election in September to avoid confusion on a renewal of a 4-mill ad valorem tax for schools.
The tax - actually the renewal of a 1-mill tax and a 3-mill tax - is one county residents are already paying. Such renewals are often confusing enough.
But another measure that will be on the statewide ballot in November could add even more confusion. Voters statewide will decide whether each county needs at least 10 mills in taxes for education. Escambia County already voted in an extra 10 mills in education taxes in 2003, so that vote won't even affect us locally.
It makes sense to separate the two votes - and, while a special election will cost the county up to $50,000, that money will be covered the tax renewal if it passes.
We encourage the county commission to schedule the September vote. It reinforces to residents - and everyone else in the state - how important education funding is in our county.
And we encourage voters to renew the taxes, no matter when they appear on the ballot. Our schools, both city and county, continue to need our support.