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City Wide 6 ˝ Mil Ad Valorem Tax Renewal Provides Critical Support for Huntsville City Schools

June 7, 2012
(Huntsville, AL) -Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and City School Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski joined forces today to urge citizens to approve the city wide 6 ˝ mil school ad valorem tax up for renewal in the municipal election this August.

Established in 1956, and renewed again in 1987, the ad valorem tax is set to expire after the 2015 tax year. The City Council will be asked at its regular meeting next week to place the tax renewal on the upcoming Aug. 28 ballot to ensure consistent funding for local education.

"This is the City's partnership with our schools, and these funds provide new and renovated education facilities for future generations," said Mayor Battle. "This is not a new tax. It is not an increase. It is a continued collection of the 6 ˝ mil tax that is vital to maintain and advance our City Schools."

Mayor Battle praised Dr. Wardynski for his leadership this past year and for his ability to make tough decisions from his first day on the job.

"Dr. Wardynski has proven he is a strong fiscal manager as well as a superb educator," said Mayor Battle. "His focus is always on what is best for the student."

In the past eleven years, the ad valorem tax has generated more than $153 million for City Schools. In the next five years alone, the City of Huntsville has committed $62 million to build and renovate schools. Without the ad valorem tax, these funds will not be available.

"The work we've done this year was designed to build public trust and to build tax payer confidence in Huntsville City Schools," said Dr. Casey Wardynski, Superintendent of Huntsville City Schools. "We think we can do excellent work with the resources we have; however, the reduction of the 6 1/2 mil would be about a 7 percent hit to our general fund and that would impact the classrooms. I said I wouldn't ask for a tax increase, but I would like to ask the public to renew the 6.5 mil ad valorem tax to continue their current funding to Huntsville City Schools."

Mayor Battle and Dr. Wardynski want to start early in getting the word out to voters that these funds are essential to our schools. "Not every Huntsville resident has a child in our schools but the quality of our education system affects all of us," said Mayor Battle. "Our business community, home values and the very future of our city depend on quality schools and a strong education system. Huntsville cannot continue to be a world class community without first class schools."

For more information, contact:

Kelly Cooper Schrimsher, Director of Communications, Office of the Mayor, City of Huntsville, 256-427-5006 (w), kelly.schrimsher@huntsvilleal.gov


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