Officials revisit tax vote

Published 8:50 am Monday, March 5, 2007

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Escambia County and Brewton school district officials are considering scheduling another vote on a tax renewal for a total of 4 mills of property tax to benefit the school districts.
The measure failed in a special election last fall. The tax was split on the ballot between a 1-mill county-wide tax and 3-mill district tax. The city's district tax passed, so city schools stand to lose only 1 mill, but county schools would lose all 4.
That translates into about $600,000 annually, county schools financial officer Julie Madden told county school board members last week. Her figures take into account the loss of millage and the increase in revenue that has occurred because of reappraisals.
County Superintendent Billy Hines said school officials are considering scheduling the tax vote during the February presidential primary.
Brewton City School Superintendent Lynn Smith said that would allow just enough time for the renewal.
The tax actually expires Sept. 30 of this year, but because taxes are paid in arrears, the schools won't see the effects for another full year.
But that would be a last chance for the tax to pass as a renewal, Smith said.
If the vote is scheduled later, it would likely be as a new tax, not a renewal, Smith said.