Shortage of resources could stall vote on tax hike for Birmingha - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Shortage of resources could stall vote on tax hike for Birmingham City Schools

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There could be trouble ahead for a proposed special election supporting a tax hike for Birmingham City Schools.

Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos says the county does not have the staffing to support such an election. In fact, he says the county is already relying heavily on its Roads and Transportation Department to handle upcoming primaries and a primary runoff.

The Birmingham School Board unanimously approved a resolution Monday petitioning the county to call an election so that voters could decide on a 3-millage property tax hike. School board president Randall Woodfin says the election would be held in September, and if approved, the tax increase would raise nearly $8 million for city schools annually. Woodfin also says a homeowner with a house valued at $100,000 would end up paying $30 in additional taxes each year.

Petelos, however, doubts the county can handle another election.

"It's a mammoth undertaking to move those machines, put them in place, then come back and take them out again," Petelos says.

In a statement to ABC 33/40, Woodfin said the following in response to Petelos' comments:

"I understand what the county manager has said. However the school board looks forward to sitting down with the county commission and talking about being on the solution end of this issue," Woodfin says.

According to a source close to the situation, the special election would cost more than $200,000.

A city clerk insists Birmingham will not cover the election costs or resources.

The Birmingham School Board will send its petition to commissioners within the next two or three weeks.

Stay with ABC 33/40 for more on this developing story.
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