News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2007

Hartselle school tax resolution remains on council’s table

By Deangelo McDaniel · 340-2469

HARTSELLE — If you are a proponent of a property tax vote for a new Hartselle High School, there is good news and bad news.

The good news is that the City Council has a tabled resolution dangling like a loose electric wire.

The bad news is that the council apparently plans to ignore it.

The resolution Councilman Bill Drake persuaded city leaders to delay voting on April 17 can still be put to a vote.

“To be honest, I forgot about it, but there is no use in doing anything about it unless Bill changes his mind,” Council President Kenny Thompson said.

The resolution is asking Rep. Ronald Grantland, D-Hartselle, and Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, to sponsor local legislation for a vote on a 12.5-mill property tax increase for a new high school.

Grantland and Orr have said they will not sponsor the bill unless the council vote is unanimous.

Council Bill Drake has opted not to support the resolution because he said no one has shown him proof that a voting majority wants the tax increase.

Grantland said the Legislature will probably not go back into session until February 2008.

If Drake changes his mind, this means Hartselle electors will be voting on a tax increase at the same time they are electing the next city administration.

This same scenario played out during the 2004 municipal election when voters rejected a 7.5-mill tax increase and the entire city government.

City Attorney Larry Madison requested that Hartselle table the resolution in April.

“By tabling it, you can bring it up again,” he said at the time.

The law does not require Hartselle to remove the item from the table and vote it up or down.

“I don’t know that we will bring this up again,” said Thompson, who sets the meeting agenda.

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