JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. – Debate continued Thursday afternoon over whether to extend a 2014 bond in Jackson County regarding the Innovation and Career Academy to 2051.
Currently, it guarantees two cents from every dollar spent in local sales tax be given to and split between Jackson County and Scottsboro boards of education until 2039.
Each commissioner spoke in support of education and the Jackson County school district project.
However, they are also looking for a way to increase revenue to pave more roads and hire and retain quality employees.
Commissioner Danny Rich said they only paved about six of the more than 12,000 miles of roadways in the county this year.
To clarify, interim chairman Jason Venable stated they absolutely do not want to take anything from the two cents education currently receives.
But Thursday, commissioners did approve the draft of a reciprocation agreement to be sent to both school boards.
Essentially it says, if the county commission approves the bond extension, that should a local or state law remove Simplified Sellers Use Tax (SSUT), or internet sales tax, funding from county government and give it to school boards, that any portion that was redirected be returned to the county.
“That’s something that we collect. They’re asking for a guarantee on what they collect already. So, that’s just a reciprocation. They’re asking us to not touch what they’re getting, I want to ask them to not touch what we’re getting,” said Venable.
Jackson County Board of Education Superintendent Kevin Dukes was not at the meeting Thursday, but Scottsboro City Schools Superintendent Jose Reyes attended.
He said the reciprocation agreement would be a tough sell for his board.
The commission plans to meet once again to discuss the bond extension Tuesday, Feb. 16.