Mayor Battle, City Schools ask voter support in reaffirming school property tax

April 22, 2019

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The City of Huntsville will hold a public referendum in the coming months to ask voters to reaffirm 15.5 mills of school property tax that have supported local education as far back as 1916.

A recent review of the school tax legislation indicated the City needed to update its language to ensure all Huntsville property owners are treated equitably.

The current law, first written in 1916 and expanded in the 60s and 70s, references property tax collection in “Huntsville, Madison County” which doesn’t accurately reflect Huntsville city limits extending in Limestone County and Morgan County.

“The intent of the law is there but we want to guarantee all property owners within the Huntsville City limits are supporting our schools equitably,” said Mayor Tommy Battle.

To correct this matter, the City of Huntsville has been working with Huntsville City Schools and the Madison County Legislative Delegation on a statutory solution. The legislative delegation is working to eliminate three of the school property taxes—currently at 15.5 mills—and authorize a public referendum to reinstate the 15.5 mills in the form of one tax with new language re-dedicating its collection to schools.

“The net sum to the taxpayer is zero – no increase in taxes and no new taxes collected,” said Mayor Battle. “The net sum to our schools is the assurance they will continue to receive 15.5 mills of support from property owners.”

“This will assure our school system will continue to receive the necessary resources to fund quality education for our children,” said Beth Wilder, President of the Huntsville Board of Education.

By deleting the old tax and replacing it with up to date language, the City of Huntsville will ensure all property owners within its limits pay an equitable share of taxes to support schools and education.

Huntsville City Council will hold a Special Meeting and Public Hearing on the school property tax at 5 p.m. on Monday, April 29, in the City Council Chambers, Huntsville City Hall, 308 Fountain Circle, 35801.