School tax set for renewal in upcoming Senate special election this December

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. -- The Madison County, Madison City and Huntsville City school systems came before the Madison County Commission on Wednesday to discuss the first renewal of the school tax since 1991.

This could have waited until the next primary election, or even until 2020. But, the commission agreed that now is the time to put a school tax renewal on the ballot in the upcoming Senate special election this December.

"It's sort of a win-win situation for everybody. We get the ballots already on for December, it's what the school systems wanted, and we save money in the process," said Commissioner Phil Vandiver (District Four).

He said taxes are important to the schools' funding, so they can continue to operate as well as they do.

"We think our school systems do the best they can with the money, we just don't think they need to be cut any. We need to support these taxes and make sure the schools get their funding at the level that it is now," he explained.

District Two County Commissioner Steve Haraway said the taxes are essential because supporting them supports the schools, which in turn supports Madison County's economy.

"They're essential to job recruitment, things of that nature. That's one of the things when companies come to Madison County, they look at what kind of school systems do we have. We have three really good systems and we feel like it's very important that these taxes are renewed," he said.

Commissioner Haraway wants to make sure people understand this is not a new tax, or an additional tax. It's a renewal of the same taxes already on the books.

"The Senate race special election that's coming up, that's when they'll be on the ballot. We just ask people to look at this and really consider supporting these," he said.

Each school system, Huntsville, Madison City, and Madison County, will have its own tax, specific to district, to vote on, on the ballot.