Doug Jackson, left, stands with his wife, Sammye, as the pair shows off their Cancer Surivivor t-shirts. Jackson, who has survived a bout of lung cancer, proudly wears the t-shirt to show the world there is hope in beating the dreaded disease. Jackson and his wife plan to participate in the upcoming Relay for Life event on April 28.

Published 1:43 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news writer
Escambia County residents will have a second opportunity to renew the ad valorum tax to benefit school systems in the county after county commission members agreed to place the matter on the ballot in the June 5 election.
The election set for June 5 will allow voters statewide to decide whether to support an economic development measure that would expand the state's ability to borrow money for industrial products.
Escambia County School Board attorney Broox Garrett asked the commission during its Monday meeting to place the tax renewal on the June 5 ballot.
Garrett explained to the commission that the issue is a renewal of an existing tax and would not be a new tax in the county.
Garrett explained the tax renewal was approved by city voters in Brewton in a previous election leaving those voters living in the county to make the decision on the renewal of the tax.
City voters approved the 3-mill tax designated for city schools, but county voters did not approve the 3-mill tax designated for county schools.
The 1-mill tax - which benefited both school districts - also failed.
County officials have said they stand to lose $600,000 annually if the taxes are not renewed. City schools could lose about $70,000 annually.
The tax, if passed by county voters, would benefit schools in the Escambia County School System, which includes W.S. Neal Elementary, Middle and High Schools, Flomaton Elementary, Middle and High Schools, A.C. Moore and Rachel Patterson Elementary Schools in Atmore, Escambia County Middle and High Schools in Atmore, and Huxford Elementary School in Huxford.
Escambia County School Superintendent Billy Hines, along with Randall Little and Mary Bess Powell represented the Escambia County School System and Brewton City School Superintendent Lynn Smith were all present at Monday's meeting to support the request for the addition to the ballot.
The commission members voted unanimously to approve the addition of the tax renewal item on the June 5 ballot.
Kerry Bean contributed to this story.