By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, May 26, Colbert County voters went to the polls and voted down a proposed massive proposed tax increase to benefit Colbert County Schools. The rejection of the tax increases follows similar votes by the people of Baldwin and Lawrence Counties.
The Stop the Farm Tax Pac wrote on Facebook hours before the vote, “We’ve got teams out knocking doors in the rain today, as well as a number of volunteers making calls to voters in the district. If you or someone you know needs a ride to the polls today, let us know – we’ve got people on standby for that as well!”
The anti-tax group claimed, “Colbert County Schools spends MORE tax dollars per student than 92 percent of school systems in Alabama, yet they rank LOWER than 70 percent of schools in the state academically? This tax increase would put Colbert County Schools in the 95 percentile in Per Pupil Expenditure, according to new numbers release last week by the Alabama State School Board, even though they currently spend more than 130 percent as much per student than the median. If we aren’t seeing results at these outrageous levels, why would we expect to see any better results by throwing even more money at the problem? SHARE this information with your friends to raise awareness!”
Former Mobile County Commissioner and political consultant Stephen Nodine warned the Alabama Political Reporter’s readers that Governor Robert Bentley’s $544 million tax proposal would have this effect on local tax referendums across the state. Nodine said that the tax proposals have made voters feel like they are under siege by their state government. Nodine urged the Governor to withdraw his ambitious tax plan and warned at the time that it would lead to failed school referendums. Baldwin County voters rejected a proposed tax increase and even some renewals after it was revealed that public school dollars were being used to finance the vote for the tax campaign. State Auditor Jim Zeigler (R) has since sued the Baldwin County School Board for what he claims were illegal use of taxpayer resources.
Disgraced Baldwin County Schools Superintendent Robbie Owens has since resigned for his role in the scandal.
Lawrence County voters followed and now Colbert County voters have rejected this proposed tax increase which would have raised property taxes by 27 percent.