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Industry school taxes
Hartselle should gain most revenue from proposed park within city limits

By Deangelo McDaniel
dmcdaniel@decaturdaily.com · 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Decatur’s schools have been the biggest beneficiary of tax dollars from industries in Mallard Fox Creek Industrial Park in its city limits; therefore, Hartselle should be the biggest beneficiary from a proposed industrial park near Interstate 65.

Hartselle will come out ahead only if the park is in its city limits.

State law does not permit local elected officials to abate school taxes.

That’s why the 10 industrial clients in Mallard Fox generated $1.99 million for the Decatur city school system in 2006.

The Morgan County Board of Education was the second beneficiary with $1.04 million and Hartselle City was third with $144,741 in school taxes.

“All of this money comes from property taxes,” Revenue Commissioner Amanda Scott said.

Nucor Steel and Boeing were the largest contributors of education dollars among Mallard Fox clients. Nucor paid more than $1 million in tax dollars to Decatur for education in 2006, Scott said.

“We send part of the money directly to the school system and part of it goes through the city,” Scott said.

Property tax

A countywide property tax that benefits all systems in Morgan County is the source of Hartselle’s education tax dollars from Mallard Fox.

If the industrial park were in Hartselle’s municipal limits, the city would collect an additional 5-mill city property tax.

Construction

Because of a unanimous council vote in Decatur on Thursday morning, Hartselle leaders can proceed with plans to construct an industrial park along I-65 between Hartselle and Falkville.

Decatur approved a resolution to redirect more than $400,000 annually in city Tennessee Valley Authority in-lieu-of-tax dollars for the proposed industrial park.

Over a 20-year period, Decatur provided 45 percent of the funding for the $9.8 million Mallard Fox bonds. The city will provide 48 percent of funding for the new park. The percentage could increase or decrease with each census.

Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley said the industrial park along I-65 will benefit the entire county. The benefit will come, not only from school property taxes, but from industries locating in the park and providing jobs and associated benefits. Chris Paschenko contributed to this story.

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