Georgiana citizens urged to support renewal of school tax

Published 2:51 pm Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Georgiana mayor Mike Middleton wants “every public official in the county” to support the renewal of the ad valorem tax coming up for a vote in June.

Middleton reminded those in attendance at the May city council meeting this tax in support of the schools is not a new tax, but one that has been in place for decades.

“Every ten years it comes up for renewal. It gives us $2.5 million for our schools and we get $15 million from the state,” Middleton said. “If we don’t have it, we aren’t going to have schools, that’s it plain and simple.”

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Allen Stephenson, Butler County circuit clerk, spoke on behalf of the public school system and clarified some issues for the board and citizens dealing with the tax.

“These funds raised through the ad valorem tax do not go to new construction. And as said, this is not a new tax. I know you don’t want more taxes and I wouldn’t want to pay any new taxes, either,” Stephenson said.

“These monies go to pay essentials like utility bills and salaries, the things that come from the General Fund.”

Because the renewal did not pass the last time it came up for a vote, Stephenson said a great deal of taxpayers’ money had to be spent to bring it to a second vote.

“We didn’t do a good job last time around making people aware beforehand this was a renewal of a tax that has been in place since 1957 and a lot of voters misconstrued it,” Stephenson said.

“This time, we are trying to get the word out to the communities and letting you know what it means and that it will be on both ballots, Republican and Democrat.”

The council unanimously approved a resolution encouraging renewal of the 10-Year School Tax.

In other city business, the council took the following actions:

*Approved Resolution 2010-06, a Supplemental Agreement with the Department of Transportation on the Sidewalk Project. “Some changes were made to this as expenses, like everything else, has gone up. However, this won’t cost us anything and we still will come out $85,000 shy of the original grant amount,” Middleton said. The project should be completed within the next two weeks.

*Approved purchase of a city flag to fly over City Hall, the design of which was shown in a sample flag at the April meeting.

*Approved request for a new trailer park on David’s Way, contingent on the owner providing the minimum of 12 hookups and concrete pads as required by law. “The site would have to be fully inspected and approved before any trailers can go in,” said Middleton.

*Tabled a discussion on the possible replacement of one of the city’s mowers in 2010.

Middleton expressed his appreciation for all those who participated in the city’s recent clean-up days and said additional such workdays would be planned in the coming months. Councilmember Byron Ward reported the city received a check for $100 for metal salvage picked up during the event.