Prattville area residents will get to decide at the polls Tuesday if they want to increase their property taxes by 15 mills to boost funding for schools in the most-populated area of Autauga County.
The proposal won’t be on the ballot for all Autauga County voters but “would create a special school district ad valorem tax in a special school tax district composed of the Central and Daniel Pratt school zones in the county and would provide for the use of the proceeds for public school purposes in the special school tax district where levied.”
Taxpayers within the special school tax district in and around Prattville would pay annually an extra 15 mills, or $150 per $100,000 in assessed property, on their property taxes if the local constitutional amendment passes. State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) sponsored legislation in 2022 that put the proposal on some Autauga County voters’ ballots.
The Autauga County Board of Education originally passed a proposal for a countywide 15 mill increase in 2021, but that proposal never received enough support to be put on the ballot by the state legislature due to opposition from rural parts of the county.
Kim Crockett, who is running unopposed in the general election for the Autauga County Board of Education for District 2 and has three children in the Autauga County School System, told 1819 News recently she understood that it’s “not a really good time economically” for the proposal, but “we’ve got to do something now.”
“It’s a huge need,” Crockett said. “Going into all of these schools they’re old. The air conditioners don’t work in the summer. The heaters don’t work in the winter. The bathrooms are inadequate. We just have to do something. We’re one of the highest-income medians in the state of Alabama yet we’re one of the lowest-funded school systems and that just doesn’t make any sense. I don’t understand why our community can not get behind our schools and the education of our children.”
Mike Ray, a retiree and Prattville resident whose three children attended Autauga County Schools, told 1819 News recently that he’d be voting against the proposal because it was a “bad time for an unfair tax.”
“Record high inflation buys us far less than we could buy just two years ago,” Ray said. “We are now facing a diesel fuel shortage which will cause a shortage of goods again and make prices of everything increase even higher. Is this a good time to further increase our taxes? Many are struggling already. The way things are going, many more will struggle with them. What good is a brand new school for our children when they may be going home to a family struggling just to get by?”
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