Madison City Council approves property tax increase

The Alabama State Legislature now needs to approve it before the people of Madison can vote on it.

Posted: Nov. 13, 2018 11:18 PM
Updated: Nov. 14, 2018 9:35 AM

The Madison City Council voted unanimously to approve a proposed property tax increase to pay for new Madison City Schools. State lawmakers also have to approve the move before Madison residents can vote on it.

All fifteen people who stood up in front of the city council Tuesday night supported the property tax increase, but many of them still had concerns; just not about whether or not the district needs the money.

Lori Beckwith has four children currently in the district, including her son Russell. She is all for paying more in taxes to pay for new schools.

"I am concerned a little bit about, is it enough?" said Beckwith.

She isn't alone. Several people wanted the city council to ask for more to build a third high school that may need to be built if Madison expands past 65,000 people, which is a possibility.

Right now, the proposal would increase property taxes $120 for every $100,000 a home is worth.

WAAY 31 learned Madison isn't the only one that will potentially vote on the increase. Kids in the town of Triana also go to Madison City Schools, so the Triana City Council will also vote on if this proposal will go on a ballot.

"We're confident that they're going to follow suit. Every indication we have is that the town of Triana is wholy on board with us," said Madison City Schools Superintendent Robby Parker.

Members of the Triana government could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Back in Madison, Mayor Paul Finley said the city would explore ways to help fund future expansions of the school district if a third high school eventually needs to be built.

Beckwith said she is a fan of that, "I'm hoping it will come from a different revenue stream."

The town of Triana is scheduled to have a public hearing on this same exact proposal next Monday.

In the meantime, Madison City Schools can now start writing the official proposal to the state legislature that they will then consider putting on the ballot. The state legislature goes back into session in March, so the earliest there would be a vote on this tax increase would be some time next fall.

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