Guntersville voters reject property tax increase to build new high school

Northeast Alabama

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – 1,366 Guntersville property owners voted on a property tax increase in a special ad valorem election Tuesday. 

The final results are 795 against and 571 for the increase.

The increase would have allowed the school district to build a new $43 million high school at the current school location.

“It’s more than just a building, we’re investing in the hearts and souls and the education of the children in our community,” said Guntersville High School teacher Elishaba Larson.There’s just a lot of structural problems and the design of the building is definitely outdated. There’s just not enough space as well, so we’re a growing community that needs advancement as well as our building being more advanced.”

The tax would have increased property taxes by 7.5 mills which is about $75 for a $100,000 property.

The new two-story school planned would have been able to house 100 more students than the current one but is designed for future expansion if needed.

It would have taken between 30 and 36 months to complete.

John Gaines is one of the majority who voted against the tax increase.

“They raised gas taxes a couple, three years ago, so they had that plus sales tax and they don’t seem to be telling us where all that money is going and that’s the concern I think most people are have is where is it all going and why are they so vague about $50 million. $50 million for a community of 8,000 people, that’s a lot of money per extra student and I think it comes out to 100 extra students for that new school. $50 million for 100 students is a little bit much,” explained Gaines.

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