School boards consider

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 25, 2001

renewing ad valorem tax


Staff Writer

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The Troy Board of Education and the Pike County Board of Education are looking into the issue of ad valorem tax.

Hank Jones, superintendent of the city school system, said the current tax expires Sept. 30, 2002.

"We need to go ahead and get this renewed," Jones said, quickly pointing out this will be renewal of the current ad valorem tax structure and not necessarily an increase in the tax.

During a meeting of the Troy school board, Jones said the two local school systems really want to study the issue and make sure they fully educate the public so they are not in the same predicament as Butler County. During Butler County’s last election, voters defeated the ad valorem tax because of inaccurate information.

"We have to have these funds to get money from the Foundation program," Jones said.

John Key, superintendent of the county school system, said the ad valorem tax amounts to about $550,000 per year for the schools.

"That’s more or less the lifeblood of the school system," Key said. "Renewal of this is essential. We’re asking the people to renew what they’re already doing."

Nonrenewal could mean less money from the state.

Other areas receive much more money from ad valorem tax. For example, Key said Tuscaloosa schools receive 10 times more than Pike County schools.

"You could add dozens of mills tax , but still couldn’t come up with what Birmingham gets," Key said.

Ad valorem tax is a tax based on a percentage of the value of property subject to taxation.

In other business, the Troy Board of Education:

· Heard a report from Russ Rice of Blount & Parrish Company, which is the a Montgomery-based investment company that has handled bond issues for the city of Troy and the Troy Board of Education.

Rice said, there has been much talk of refinancing bond issues because of proration.

"It makes good financial sense to refinance," Rice said after talking about the current low interest rates.

After listening to Rice’s presentation, the board passed a resolution that will give Blount & Parrish the authority to move ahead with work on the school warrant.

· Granted a leave of absence for Cindy Judy, effective April 2 and lasting through the end of the school year.

· Was informed by Jones the system did not have to borrow money to make payroll this month, although "things are tight."

· Accepted a computer bid from Dale Computers for the purchase of laptops for Charles Henderson High and Middle Schools. The computers will be purchased with $45,000 in grant funds. The bid from Howard Computer was also accepted for the purchase of a large screen multimedia system.

· Adopted new reading and literature books for some grades. Some literature books at CHHS will not be replaced, despite the fact they are 12 years old.

· Approved the 2001-2002 school calendar.

· Was reminded a team of 10 will be in Troy for the comprehensive review which will be conducted April 3-5.

"We’ll be ready," Jones told board members.

· After an executive session, the board took action on two disciplinary matters involving students making threats.

The Charles Henderson Middle School student who threatened another student was expelled and the Charles Henderson High School student was placed in long-term alternative school.

Board members Douglas Patterson and Willie B. Williams were absent from the meeting.