Tuscaloosa County residents voted no on a property tax increase on Tuesday that would have cost homeowners in the county an extra $8 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation a year.

The tax increase appeared on the ballot under two separate measures: a 5-mill increase and a 3-mill increase. If residents had voted in favor of the tax increase, the revenue would’ve gone to the Tuscaloosa County School District (TCSD). 

TCSD Superintendent Keri Johnson told WVUA Tuesday that, if passed, the money from the tax increase would allow the school to hire more resource officers, construct a new school building and make improvements to facilities. He encouraged voters to pass the tax increase.

The voter turnout for the referendum was only 17%. Unofficial results show that 78% of voters rejected the 3-mill increase, whereas 79% of voters rejected the 5-mill increase. 

According to Patch, it’s been more than 100 years since Tuscaloosa County last voted to raise property taxes. The most recent attempt to raise the property taxes took place in 1996 and failed after the county voted by a two-to-one margin against the increase.

The proposed tax hike follows a failed effort by Northport to break from the TCSD and form a school district of its own, much like the Tuscaloosa City School System. Earlier this year, former Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon, who advocated for a new school district during his time in office, spoke out against the proposal.

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