News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Tax renewal vote is an investment in county's families

Community leaders often talk about school taxes in terms of economic and community development. Their argument that good schools attract good jobs and desirable residents is well taken.

Sometimes, however, the argument is a bit nebulous for the people asked to pay the taxes. But Larry Bullard of Punkin Center sees the vote on renewal of the Morgan County Schools' 7.5-mill ad valorem tax today as investment in his immediate family, also.

"My kids are out of school, but I've got grandbabies who will be going to those schools soon. The schools need this money to operate," he said.

Indeed, they do. Without renewing the tax that rural property owners began paying in 1957, county schools would lose $4.6 million annually.

Talk about a domino effect! Loss of the money would mean fewer teachers. Fewer teachers would mean larger classrooms. Larger classrooms would mean less teachers' time for individual students.

The tax began at 5.5 mills and the County Commission increased it to 7.5 mills in 1997. But nobody is asking for an increase when rural voters go to the polls today. The vote is only to renew the tax that expired recently.

Nor does any of the revenue go to Decatur or Hartselle schools. This is strictly a Morgan County Schools issue that involves only rural voters.

Vote to renew the tax to keep investing in Morgan County's future and its grandbabies.

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