MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WHNT) — There are 10 proposed constitutional amendments for Alabama voters to consider on Tuesday’s ballot.
News 19 is taking a closer look at those amendments, and Friday’s focus was Amendment 6.
Amendment 6 is all about how tax dollars can and can’t be used by local governments, and whether they have to take on debt for new projects. The amendment has a lot of verbiage at the top, but here’s the key portion, and it’s still a little dense:
“Each municipality authorized under Amendment 8… may also levy and collect such ad valorem tax and utilize such funds for capital improvements on a pay-as-you-go basis at a rate not exceeding the rate then lawfully permitted for the municipality to directly pay the costs of public capital improvements.
“As well as to pay the principal and interest on bonds, warrants, or other securities issued to finance or refinance the costs of the improvements.”Amendment 6
The City of Huntsville is among the municipal governments affected by a provision in the state constitution that requires that money from certain tax collected can only be used to repay debt. Which means they have to borrow money to build rather than just pay for it.
State Rep. Mike Ball said Amendment 6 would change that.
“Amendment 6 gives the affect municipalities an additional option on spending these revenues on a pay-as-you-go basis, without forcing them to borrow more money,” Ball explained. “The City of Huntsville was wanting to do some pay-as-you-go projects, without incurring additional debt, which sounds like the most responsible way to spend money you can possibly have, but the law didn’t allow it.”
“So, the whole purpose if this is to clear that up, so they don’t have to go to the bond market and borrow money to spend this tax revenue that’s already coming in, they can use it for pay-as-you-go capital improvements,” Ball continued.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle co-authored an op-ed for AL.com, expressing support for Amendment 6.
The mayors of Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, and Hoover will host a news conference Monday asking voters to support the amendment.