ROBERTSDALE — Voters in Central Baldwin will head to the polls on Tuesday, Sept. 21 to vote on a 3-mil property tax that would be used to fund education opportunities for local students.
Public hearings were held in Robertsdale, Silverhill and Loxley ahead of Tuesday’s vote. All polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Only voters in Baldwin County voting District 5 are eligible to vote.
The tax is similar to those that were passed in 2019 by the cities of Fairhope and Spanish Fort. If passed it would run for the next eight years, which would coincide with the renewal schedule for the Spanish Fort tax. The Fairhope tax was approved for 30 years.
According to information provided by the Central Baldwn Education Foundation, a 1 mil property tax is equal to .01 % (.0001) of appraised property value, or 6 % of the assessed value of farmland. Senior citizens would be exempt from the tax.
“I prefer to think of this not as a tax, but it is an investment in our future,” said Chris Kerby, CBEF spokesman. “All we’re asking is that people give this a chance to work, then if they don’t like it, we can go back and figure out what to do next.”
The tax is projected to generate from $700,000 to $750,000 per year to be spent toward making academic and capital improvements, personnel and extra-curriculars at Silverhill Elementary, Loxley Elementary, Elsanor Elementary, Rosinton Elementary, Robertsdale Elementary, Central Baldwin Middle and Robertsdale High schools.
“I am a principal, but I’m also a proud member of this community,” said RHS Principal Joe Sharp. “I am proud to be from this community. I’m proud to live in this community and raise my children in this community. This is an opportunity for us to give our students advantages that other schools have and I believe it’s an opportunity that we can’t pass up.”
Improvements would include providing additional education opportunities, programs and facilities for students in Central Baldwin.
Public hearings in Robertsdale, Silverhill and Loxley were held before members of the Central Baldwin Education Committee. The nine-member committee includes three members appointed by each of the three municipalities.
If approved, members of the Central Baldwin Education Committee will work with local schools and the Baldwin County School System to decide how the money is spent.
Committee members are: Brenda Pierce, Stephanie Kroll and Jeff Copeland, appointed by Robertsdale; Carl Johnson, Paige Townley and Cindy Schulze, appointed by Silverhill; Chris Kerby, Jessica Thornton and Joe Driver, appointed by Loxley.