Photo by Jon Anderson
Voting at Hoover library
Jefferson County voters go to the polls on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, to vote on whether to renew property taxes for schools. In Hoover, the vote deals with three property taxes totaling 21.4 mills that bring in more than $22 million annually for Hoover City Schools.
Hoover residents who live in Jefferson County this coming Tuesday are being asked whether they want to renew three property taxes that together bring in more than $22 million a year for Hoover schools.
Two of the taxes cover all of Jefferson County and will be voted on by all Jefferson County voters. Together, they total 7.5 mills and brought in about $7.1 million for Hoover City Schools (plus additional money for other school districts) in fiscal 2015, school officials said.
A separate 13.9-mill property tax just for the Hoover school system brought in about $13.6 million for Hoover schools in 2015 and will be voted on by only registered voters in the Hoover portion of Jefferson County, tax attorney Heyward Hosch said.
Hoover school board President Stephen Presley emphasized that this is not a new tax, but a renewal of existing taxes. “It’s already in place, and this would just extend the life of that tax,” Presley said.
All three taxes are set to expire in 2021, and officials are seeking to get all three extended for 25 years to 2046.
It’s important to get them approved far in advance in order to maintain school systems’ credit ratings and allow school systems to obtain financing for needed capital projects, Hosch said.
Plus, if a first tax renewal vote fails, there still could be time to seek a second vote later, he said.
Presley said it would be a sad state of affairs if Hoover and/or other school districts in Jefferson County had to come up with other sources of money to continue providing their current level of services.
There are other property taxes in Hoover and Jefferson and Shelby counties that support Hoover schools. In total, the school system estimates it will receive $70.2 million in property tax revenues in fiscal 2017, which represents 42 percent of the total $168 million in revenue projected in the 2017 budget.
Voters on Tuesday will vote at the same polling places where they voted in the 2016 general election unless they have moved outside that district. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters with questions can call the Jefferson County Board of Registrars at 325-5550.