Still shot from video by Jason Gaston/Hoover City Schools
Hoover tax vote 3-7-17
Shelley Shaw, president of the Hoover Parent Teacher Council, puts up a sign supporting property tax renewals for schools at Berry Middle School in Hoover, Alabama.
Hoover voters joined voters across Jefferson County in overwhelmingly approving property tax renewals for schools today, according to unofficial election results.
With 99 percent of the precincts counted, there were 2,615 votes (93 percent) in favor of renewing a 13.9-mill property tax specific to Hoover City Schools, compared to 192 votes (7 percent) against the renewal.
Also, voters across Jefferson County strongly favored renewing two countywide property taxes totaling 7.5 mills. Those renewals were approved by about 93 percent of voters, with about 27,000 votes cast.
Those countywide property taxes are split up among all the school districts in the county, based on enrollment.
The Hoover tax and two countywide taxes combined bring in more than $21 million a year for Hoover City Schools, school officials have said.
Hoover schools Superintendent Kathy Murphy tonight said she is extremely grateful for all those people in Hoover and Jefferson County who took the time to go vote on a dreary day like today.
“It’s so important to Hoover City Schools, so important to all Jefferson County schools,” Murphy said.
Those three taxes were set to expire in 2021, and now they will be extended another 25 years to 2046.
That will help the school district not only in maintaining a terrific school district today but also will aid the system for an extended period of time as it looks at the possibility of capital projects to meet the growing system’s needs, Murphy said.
This money will help Hoover with a variety of needs, such as maintaining smaller class sizes, providing desired electives and helping meet the needs of struggling learners, she said.
Murphy said she was optimistic the vote would go this favorably.
“You’re always hoping for the A. You’re always hoping to be in the 90s,” she said. “It’s always great when you see this kind of a margin. It certainly signifies that all those who took the time to go out and vote did so purposefully and with the intention of helping children today. … I’m extremely excited for the children of Jefferson County.”
Marlena Webb, the mother of a fifth-grader at Gwin Elementary School, was among those who voted in favor of the renewal.
“Our schools need all the help they can get,” Webb said after exiting the polling place at Oakmont Presbyterian Church.
She went to private Catholic schools, but she chose to put her daughter in Hoover schools and loves it, she said. She voted for the tax renewals because she doesn’t want the school system to have to stop offering electives such as theater and music, she said.
“It takes a lot,” Webb said. “If you want a good education for your kids, you’ve got to be able to support it.”
Yashica Elder, a resident in the Green Valley area with two young children at Green Valley Elementary and a preschooler, said she favored the tax renewals because education is very important to her and her children still have a lot of years left in school.
She moved to Hoover because of the quality of the school system and “you can’t do it without money,” Elder said.
Amy McLemore, another Green Valley resident with a student at Hoover High, said the fact that this was a tax renewal and not a new tax made it easier to approve, but she likely would have voted in favor of it even it was a new tax, she said. “We need to support our schools.”
In addition to Hoover, 11 other school districts in Jefferson County had tax renewal votes specific to their districts as well on Tuesday. All were easily approved. Here are the districts, the mills renewed and the percentage by which the renewals were approved.
- Bessemer — 5.4 mills, 94 percent approved
- Birmingham — 12.8 mills, 95 percent approved
- Fairfield — 5.8 mills, 96 percent approved
- Homewood — 15.1 mills, 95 percent approved
- Jefferson County— 13.9 mills, 89 percent approved
- Leeds — 13.9 mills, 95 percent approved
- Midfield — 6 mills, 98 percent approved
- Mountain Brook — 24.2 mills, 98 percent approved
- Tarrant — 11.2 mills, 93 percent approved
- Trussville — 5.1 mills, 86 percent approved
- Vestavia Hills — 15.1 mills, 94 percent approved
This article was updated at 7:49 a.m. on March 8 with the latest unofficial vote totals.