Huntsville City School Board passes agreement on Limestone County tax dispute resolution

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – The long-standing tax dispute involving students in Limestone County that go to Madison County-area school districts is one step closer to resolution.

Huntsville City Schools voted to pass the agreement at their school board meeting on Thursday night. They were the last district that needed to give approval.

Athens City, Madison City, and Limestone County all approved the deal during school board meetings on Tuesday.

Huntsville wasn’t originally part of the original court dispute, but joined in because the City of Huntsville continues to expand into Limestone County, and it could affect them down the road.

The Plan

According to Athens City Schools’ Superintendent Trey Holladay, tax revenue was redistributed among the four school districts.

One of the Limestone County one cent sales taxes will continue to go towards Limestone County and Athens City Schools. The other one cent sales taxes will be distributed between the four districts, but it will be delayed for a few years so the impact isn’t as great on the districts in Limestone County.

The 5.5 mill property tax will also be distributed between the four districts, depending on student population percentages.

State Senator Holtzclaw says, essentially, Madison City Schools got what they wanted.

“The money’s going to follow the child from a property tax perspective, and that kind of got us to where we are, and that’s certainly a positive thing,” he says.

Holtzclaw added, there won’t be any new taxes for anyone in Limestone County.

“No new taxes proposed here. At one point, there was some discussion whether cities would have to do something or the legislature would have to do something, that’s all off the table,” says Holtzclaw.

The District 2 State Senator admitted, not everyone’s happy, but at least there’s finally a potential solution.

“When you solve this in a board room instead of a courtroom that means you have groups that had to give and take, but they did so in a sense of fashion that they recognize that for their concerns, their concerns were met. If it was solved in a courtroom, there would have been winners and losers,” he says.