JeffCo commission will have to find $250K to pay for Birmingham

JeffCo commission will have to find $250K to pay for Birmingham school tax vote

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Source: WBRC Source: WBRC
JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) -

Some Jefferson County commissioners aren't happy the county will have to pay the cost of Birmingham's school tax vote.

The Birmingham Board of Education asked voters to approve a three mill property tax increase for 30 years. The tax would cost homeowners about $2.50 a month on a house worth $100,000.

As the commission continues to search for funding to pave roads and hire workers, one member is expressing frustration at paying for the $250,000 for the special election. 

"They pay the taxes. That tax money will be used to fund a city election to raise property taxes in the city of Birmingham. It doesn't seem equitable," commissioner Joe Knight said.

Commissioners were told state law requires them to pay for the referendum September 9 because it is a property tax.

"Whatever the cost is we will have to find it. Unfortunately we did not plan for it. We will have to look at our reserve," Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos said.

The state requirement is one reason commissioners plan to ask lawmakers to change the law so cities or school boards can fund their own referendums.

"I think this has to be revisited. It's kind of little bit archaic. Let's take a look at that. That is not fair to the people out in the county in the other cities," Knight said.

Commissioners will vote on Wednesday on funding the referendum vote. Birmingham City Schools says if it's approved, the vote will generate extra funds for pre-K and arts programs.

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