Auburn tax referendum to fund new high school fails at 46 percen - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Auburn tax referendum to fund new high school fails at 46 percent

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Supt. Dr. Karen DeLano speaks with the media while the votes were being counted. She was not confident of approval after seeing Ward 1 results. Supt. Dr. Karen DeLano speaks with the media while the votes were being counted. She was not confident of approval after seeing Ward 1 results.
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AUBURN, AL (WSFA) -

The referendum to increase property taxes in the City of Auburn in an effort to fund a new high school has failed to reach enough 'Yes' votes to pass.

Following a lopsided return from Ward 1 indicating just 34 percent of voters were behind the measure, Auburn City Schools Superintendent Dr. Karen DeLano indicated she was not confident that the measure would pass. The 'Yes' vote did not reach a majority in any of the city's 8 wards but came closest in a statistical 50/50 tie in Wards 5 and 6.

The results are unofficial and have yet to be certified.

There were a total of 282 absentee ballots filed with the majority voting for the measure.

Tuesday's measure failed 46 percent to 54 percent.

RESULTS FROM EACH WARD

WARD MACHINE 1 MACHINE 2 TOTAL PERCENT
         
Ward 1 For 131 NA 131 34%
Ward 1 Against 249 NA 249 66%
         
Ward 2 For 918
NA
918
48%
Ward 2 Against 986
NA
986
52%
         
Ward 3/4 For 355 375 730 42%
Ward 3/4 Against 507 487 994 58%
         
Ward 5/6 For 1,125 NA 1,125 50%
Ward 5/6 Against 1,137 NA 1,137 50%
         
Ward 7/8 For 36
1,380
1,416 46%
Ward 7/8 Against 50
1,669
1,669
54%
         
Absentee For 132
NA
132
47%
Absentee Against 150
NA
150
53%
         
TOTAL    
 
FOR 4,452
NA
NA
46%
AGAINST 5,185 NA
NA
54%

Some 9,637 voters made their voices heard on the property tax increase referendum that would have benefited Auburn City Schools.

David Dorton, Public Affairs Director for the City of Auburn says the highest ever number of people coming out to vote in a non-presidential election was 4,800. That record was shared by more than double the number of voters. Workers were sent to Birmingham to pick up more ballots just to make sure there were enough!

Citizens made their voices heard regarding the 9-mill property tax increase, which would have helped fund construction of a new high school in Auburn.

Total property tax in Auburn is currently 54 mills and of that, schools get 26 mills. Of that, the specific school tax fund affected is currently 5 mills.

If voters had approved Tuesday's referendum, the tax would have increased to 63 mills, which would have raised what schools get to 35 mills. Of that, the specific school tax fund affected would have been raised to 14 mills.

In December of 2012, the Auburn City Board of Education formally requested that an election be held for Auburn voters to consider a 9-mill property tax increase to fund the construction of a new high school in Auburn.

The Alabama State Legislature authorized the election in the 2013 regular legislative session, and Tuesday, September 24, 2013 is the election date.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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