HUNTSVILLE, Ala – Voters in Huntsville can participate in a special election on Tuesday that centers around the school district as officials try to update outdated tax lingo.
As the region grows, Huntsville City Schools now serves students in Limestone and Morgan Counties. Meaning, tax levels vary and need to be evened out to accommodate the growth.
“Usually the people that live outside of Madison County are the ones that cost us the most to educate. Because we have major transportation costs for those students,” said Elisa Ferrell, the Huntsville City School Board President.
There will not be any increases in taxes.
“Our landmass size is the same as the city of Chicago. We expanded to three counties in order to make sure everyone that is receiving services, is paying taxes at the same rate. We have to update archaic language in the law,” said Ferrell.
The district gets funding from three sources: the federal government, the state, and local taxes. Just under 40 percent of that funding comes from Huntsville residents. The current tax language is over 100 years old and reflects Huntsville when it was just a dot on a map.
“In order to provide a wide array of AP classes, of career tech classes, athletic offerings, small class sizes, we need that local funding to take care of our students,” said Ferrell.
The district said offering and paying for the career-centered curriculum is essential. According to the district, companies moving to the Tennessee Valley ask about the strengths of local school districts to better recruit families from other areas as well as grow the strength of people living in Huntsville.
Residents can vote from their polling locations between 7:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.