Voter Guide: Birmingham Voters to Decide School Taxes, Three Council Seats Tuesday

Posted

 1491145852 
1570011011
The general election will be Nov. 6.

Source: Solomon Crenshaw Jr., BirminghamWatch

By BirminghamWatch & Sam Prickett

bw-logo-color-2

Voters in Birmingham will head to the polls Tuesday to decide the fate of three property taxes for schools and three seats on the City Council.

Those taxes cost taxpayers who own houses valued at $100,000 about $98 per year and raise roughly $27 million a year for city schools.

Voters in City Council Districts 1, 6 and 7 also will have a choice of city councilors to represent them on their ballots. That’s almost half of the council seats up for grabs. Councilors representing those districts were appointed after the elected councilors resigned their positions. Under the Mayor-Council Act, appointed councilors may serve only until the next election.

BirminghamWatch’s city voter guide provides profiles of the candidates, an explanation of the school taxes, information about casting a ballot, and links to official ballots and a map of council districts.

Citywide Vote on Renewing Taxes for Birmingham Schools

All voters in Birmingham will get their vote on whether to renew three property taxes they already are paying that benefit Birmingham City Schools.

Those taxes generate roughly $27 million in yearly revenue for the school system, accounting for roughly 12% of its total budget, based on its $234 million FY 2019 budget. That revenue goes into the BCS general fund, 76% of which is spent on personnel salaries and benefits; the remaining 24% goes toward operational costs, capital outlay and transfers to other funds.

The taxes were last renewed by voters in August 1991 and are slated to expire Sept. 30, 2021. This month’s vote would renew the taxes through 2046.

One of the taxes is for 4.2 mills and the other two are for 2.8 mills each. The total 9.8 mills costs homeowners $98 a year for each $100,000 in appraised value of their houses.

Candidates for Birmingham City Council on the Oct. 8 Ballot

City Council District 1:

Sherman Collins Jr.

Haki Jamaal Muhammad

Clinton Woods

City Council District 6:

Willine Body

Carlos Chaverst

LaTanya Millhouse

Clarence Muhammad

Crystal Smitherman

Keith O. Williams

Onoyemi “Oni” Williams

City Council District 7:

Wardine Towers Alexander

Ray Brooks

Lonnie Franklin Malone

Birmingham District Maps #1-9

 

Poll Hours, Polling Sites and Absentee Ballots

The polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 8. You can verify your polling place on the AlabamaVotes.gov site.

For those who want to cast absentee ballots, Thursday is the deadline to apply for the ballots. Monday is the last day for voters to apply for emergency absentee ballots, if their employers require them to be out of the country on election day.

Absentees must be hand-delivered to the City Clerk’s office by the end of the day Monday or postmarked by Oct. 8 and received by the clerk by noon on election day.

Sample Ballots

Falling Tax Revenue Looms for State, Counties, Cities
04-2-2020

Late April will bring financial pain for state and local governments as businesses in Alabama begin submitting lower taxes because of the coronavirus.

Association Protests Plan to Put Recovering COVID-19 Patients in Nursing Homes
04-1-2020

The Alabama Nursing Home Association opposes a decision by Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson to place patients who are recovering from COVID-19 in nursing homes.

Jefferson County Commission Sets Up $1 Million Virus Fund, Extends County Closings Through April
04-1-2020

The Jefferson County Commission used its second emergency meeting of the COVID-19 pandemic to extend the closure of county facilities until April 30 and set up a $1 million COVID-19 fund to handle needs as they arise.

Lawyers: Set Parole Hearings, Prevent Virus Spread in Alabama’s Crowded Prisons
03-31-2020

A group of law school faculty members and former prosecutors has written Gov. Kay Ivey urging her to have the state Board of Pardons and Paroles hold expedited hearings to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to Alabama’s prison population.

No Need to Worry About Drinking Water During the COVID-19 Crisis, ADEM Director Says
03-31-2020

Public drinking water is safe, according to the director of the Alabama Department of Environment.