Taxes were the talk of Alabama, but particularly Cullman County for the last two weeks.
First came the state gas tax, then a half-cent local sales tax increase for education, and finally the referendum to continue or halt a 30-year property tax for schools.
Voters went to the polls and overwhelmingly approved the renewal of the property tax, even though the disgruntlement and confusion over so many taxes was widespread.
The decision by local voters was a positive signal, however, as the majority of those who went to the poll recognized that the property tax has provided valuable funding at the local level for many years. Teachers and administrators may have felt some anxiety with the timing of the election, but at the close of the evening this money got a strong nod of approval.
Alabama’s strongest school systems enjoy local tax support. The additional money, above state and federal funding, ensures that students have more opportunities to unlock educational opportunities that translate into good employment and the satisfaction of opening their minds to critical thinking, leadership and generally happy lifestyles.
The topic of taxes in Alabama drives strong emotions. Nonetheless, taxes support a lot of services that are needed throughout Alabama, which is one of the nation’s most federally dependent states.
Agreeing to taxes in local communities can produce measurable results, including a better quality of life.
The renewed property tax has long served students well. We agree with voters that it was worth keeping.