TAXES PASS: School officials relieved by vote

Published 8:54 pm Wednesday, June 6, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell and Kerry Whipple Bean
The numbers looked good all night, but Escambia County and Brewton school leaders didn't breathe an official sigh of relief until all the numbers showed that voters renewed a total of 4 mills of ad valorem taxes for schools Tuesday.
The renewal of a countywide 1-mill tax passed with nearly 69 percent of the 2,399 votes cast across the county. A 3-mill district tax renewal was also approved for the three districts in the Escambia County school system.
Schools in District 1, which passed the renewal with 68.93 percent of the votes, include W.S. Neal High, Middle and Elementary schools.
Hines said the positive votes mean he can reinstate eight teaching positions today. Most schools said they would use the funds for teacher units or for capital improvements.
The tax renewals amounted to a total of $800,000 for Escambia County Schools and $70,000 for Brewton City Schools.
The same tax renewals failed last fall for both the countywide tax and the district taxes for schools. Brewton voters renewed the 3-mill district tax last fall.
Brewton Superintendent Lynn Smith said educating voters may have made the difference countywide in Tuesday's vote.
Smith was relieved by Tuesday's vote.
Knott said he spent most of the day on the phone Tuesday calling teachers and staff to remind them to vote for the tax renewal.
Schools in District 2, which passed the renewal with nearly 65 percent of the votes, include Pollard-McCall Junior High School and Flomaton schools.
White said that the positive outcome has boosted his morale, and he is ready to work.

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