Photo by Lexi Coon.
Mountain Brook City Hall saw an abrupt influx of voters just before lunchtime.
Mountain Brook residents – along with all residents of Jefferson County – will be voting on March 7 for the continuation of a school district tax that funds nearly 40% of the school system's total revenues.
Both Superintendent Dr. Dicky Barlow and Board of Education chairman Brad Sklar noted that while the tax will be on the ballots on Tuesday, it is an election for the continuation and renewal of the tax and not at all a new or additional tax. The rates for the taxes would remain the same, with county taxes being 2.1 and 5.4 mill and district taxes being 5.7 and 18.5 mill.
"Our board and myself personally are so supportive of this [tax renewal] because of what it means for our schools," Sklar said. At a past city council meeting, Barlow said the monies collected from past county and district taxes – which amounts to approximately $18.5 million annually – can be broken down to the salaries and benefits of 246 district's teachers. "Obviously, the greatest thing we can do for the students at Mountain Brook is to continue to have the number of good quality teachers we have in our system," he said.
While Sklar said there is no way to predict how Jefferson county voters may vote as a whole, he hopes that county-wide voters will see the benefit of the taxes and that in the previous tax renewal election 93 percent of Mountain Brook voters supported the continuation of the taxes.
"We are certainly hopeful that people will go out and vote both for the county renewals and the Mountain Brook district renewals," he said. "We appreciate all of those good citizens whether they have students in the system or not."
Polling will be available at the same voting locations residents used during the 2016 general elections unless they have moved, and polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. To view sample ballots, click here.