Questions and Answers
Setting the Record Straight: Tax Referendum
With the special school tax referendum, requested by Auburn City Schools, drawing near, many of you are receiving conflicting information online, on the airwaves, and even in your mailbox. Here we'll address some of the specific questions many of you are asking, with the goal of giving you the factual information you need to make an informed decision at the polls on September 24 th .
- Increase the property tax on the average homeowner by $16 a month, or $193 a year, based on a 2012 average home value of $214,00.
- Increase the property taxes on personal vehicles by approximately $13,50 a year per $10,000 of the vehicle’s fair market value.
- Increase the property tax on commercial property owners by $1,800 a year per $1 million on property value.
To estimate how much the property tax on your resident would increase, visit the property tax calculator.
A: Over the past 30 years, the City Council has made the Schools its number one priority, and, as a result, has committed over $9 million per year from the City's General Fund to ensure our children have a quality education. This commitment is made because the revenues allowed for school funding under Alabama law are not adequate to fund the school system at the level the community demands. As a result of having the best public education system in East Alabama, and one of the best in the State, we have attracted numerous new residents. Some would argue that the Schools are the single greatest cause of Auburn's growth. People from nearby cities, including Montgomery, have moved to Auburn to put their kids in our school system.
But residential growth does not fully pay for City services or schools, and residential property taxes are not adequate to fund an excellent school system. Property taxes in Alabama are among the lowest in the nation and Auburn’s property taxes are only the 24th highest in the state.
The City of Auburn has a very effective economic development program that has generated 5000 manufacturing and professional jobs over the past 25 years in order to produce revenue to support the City's growth. The advantage of these jobs is that approximately ¾ of the employees working for these companies live in outlying communities, yet pay the City's one percent occupational license fee, and the companies pay property taxes. As a result, they offset some of the expense that is created by residential growth in providing City services and a high quality school system.
Auburn City Schools has managed to build four new elementary schools and re-align the primary school system with available funding. To take the next step and build a high-school and re-align secondary schools, additional funding is needed.