Taxes could skyrocket

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2004

GREENSBORO – Unbeknownst to some, though clearly part of the public record, voters in Hale County will see an amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot that could nearly double local government revenues.

State Rep. Bobby Singleton introduced legislation earlier this year calling for a 30-mill ad valorem tax increase for Hale County.

House Bill 840, which passed in May, not only increases property tax from 30 to 60 mills, it also increases the homestead exemption from $2,000 to $5,000.

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Probate Judge Leland Avery said he was aware of the tax bill, which must be approved by referendum in the Nov. 2 elections. However, Avery said he was unclear about how much revenue would be raised from the property tax.

According to the legislation, the increased tax would tax effect on Oct. 1, 2005, and would be levied against all taxable property except Class IV motor vehicles.

The homestead exemption, which would increase 150 percent, would be levied against all countywide non-educational taxes.

According to Singleton’s bill, the revenue from the funds would be dispersed as follows:

Hale County Public Schools: 18 mills

Volunteer fire departments: 2 mills

Hale County ambulance service: 1 mill

Ensured ambulance service in Moundville: 1 mill

Hale County Hospital: 2 mills

Little leagues or other youth programs: 2 mills

Senior citizen programs: 2 mills

Hale County law enforcement (including city and county governments): 2 mills.

Though little public discussion has been waged about the tax vote, some have indicated that a group of community officials plans to develop an anti-tax organization. No one would comment, publicly, about that organization or its objective.