5 mill school tax up for renewal

Published 9:10 am Friday, May 14, 2010

When voters file to the polls next month for the June Primary Election they will find one local amendment on the ballot city officials say needs careful attention and consideration.

A 5-mill property tax in the Demopolis City School District is up for renewal and Mayor Mike Grayson said the vote for or against its renewal has major implications for the educational system.

“Education is tough right now,” he said. “The state’s cut funding, there’s less funding available just about everywhere you look but the demand for education’s not changing.”

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Annually, the 5-mill tax produces more than $600,000 of the operating capital used by the Demopolis City School System. That figure also represents 4 percent of the school system’s budget.

“It’s a major, major source of funding for our schools,” Grayson said.

Five mills is the equivalent of 50 cents on each $100 of the assessed value of taxable property located within the Demopolis City School District.

Grayson said it’s important to note that this tax is neither a new tax nor a tax increase.

“It’s just a renewal,” he stressed. “The 5 mill tax comes up for renewal every 10 years. It’s simply time to renew it. Often times voters see an amendment and just vote no, without taking a lot of time to consider it. Or they see anything that says tax and vote no. It’s important that everyone understand what this is and what this is for.”