Athens city leaders to discuss proposed tax increase - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Athens city leaders to discuss proposed tax increase

The increase would fund a new high school campus. (Source: WAFF file) The increase would fund a new high school campus. (Source: WAFF file)
ATHENS, AL (WAFF) -

People in Athens could pay more in property taxes if the city decides on a plan to revamp public schools. City leaders meet Monday night to hear a presentation with school officials about the proposed plans.

Last Tuesday, school officials unveiled two plans to update the school system's facilities. 'Plan A' proposes a $9 -12 million increase, so to put that into perspective, if your property value is $100,000, you'd be paying $100 more per year.

'Plan A' includes a new high school and elementary school. The middle school would relocate to the current high school. Severe weather safe rooms are also included in these plans. A secondary plan includes two-thirds of the primary plan's tasks, and would cost an estimated $5 million.

Superintendent Trey Holladay said they wouldn't do anything the community doesn't want to do. However, he stressed that some of the school system's current facilities are as old as 60 years.

"Four of our buildings are in the 40-50 year range," Holladay said. "50 years is about the length of a building that you can expect, so we feel real confident in the fact that we've expanded them as long as we can. It's time for some upgrades."

Community reaction to the proposed plans are divided.

"I'm not gonna vote for it," said property owner Richard Ferrara. "I'm on a fixed income and I'm retired, therefore any time we raise taxes, it's gonna hurt me personally."

Officials said the tax increase would be in effect for five years before reverting back to the current tax rate.

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