Penny tax expected to generate $11 million for Decatur City Schools in 2020

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DECATUR, Ala. - Decatur City Schools leaders and city officials say the one penny sales tax is anticipated to have a huge impact on education in 2020.

The City of Decatur collects four cents of sales tax on every dollar, in addition to the nickel that goes to the state.

"We contribute one penny of that four cents, or 25 percent, to the Decatur City School system," explained Decatur's mayor, Tab Bowling.

Decatur City Schools and city leaders anticipate that this school year, the penny tax will bring in nearly $11 million to area schools.

Bowling said the tax has helped Decatur city schools remain one of the best locally supported systems in Alabama.

The mayor said the $11 million is generated from sales and use tax.

"So as our sales tax grow, so does that transfer," Bowling added.

Bowling said this tax has normally gone towards education, and the city doesn't dictate exactly how it's spent.

"On our end, we find pleasure in being able to make that transfer to the schools," said Bowling. "The schools they manage their funds as they see fit."

Decatur City Schools said the tax money is used for programs that the state and federal funds do not cover.

Some of the money will be used for teaching expenses, maintenance, and career tech instructors.

"With the workforce needs that we have in our area, and we should always be concerned about anything that will benefit students education as well as our educators," Bowling added.

Decatur City Schools says the anticipated funds will also help decrease class sizes, pay for stem programs and afford individual technology to each student.

School system officials said they are very fortunate to have the support of the City of Decatur.

The system's 2020 fiscal budget must be completed by October 1.

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