Colbert County superintendent reacts to failed tax increase

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TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – Colbert County Board of Education officials say a tight budget will be getting even tighter in the future.  After the votes were counted on a special referendum Tuesday, residents overwhelmingly voted down a 3-mill property tax increase for education.

“I can appreciate that,” stated Colbert County Schools Superintendent Anthony Olivis. “The voters had the opportunity to have a say in what goes on in education.”

By a margin of 6 to 1, voters across Colbert County declined the increase which would have meant almost $1 million more per year for the school system.

Olivis said through disciplined spending, they will finish this year with a balanced budget.  But he now must turn his attention to the uncertain future.

“We have some things we need to address,” said Olivis. “So, we want to make sure that we do the best job for our schools but at the same time be a good financial steward.”

Olivis describes the challenges they face as putting patches on top of patches.  They have several capital projects which need to take place, but they will likely not have the money to cover those costs.

“For Colbert County Schools I’m not going to say it’s a dire situation,” Olivis explained. “It is one where we are going to continue to monitor our system budget.”

And with 2,600 students to think about, Olivis said the system will do the best they can to maintain the current level of education.

On Tuesday, Colbert County became the third county in the state to vote against a proposed tax increase for education in the last few months.

Colbert County Probate Judge Daniel Rosser said Tuesday’s registered voter turnout of 19% was rather high for a special referendum.