Athens City School leaders fire back after claim school tax incr - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Athens City School leaders fire back after claim school tax increase would hurt small businesses

(Source: WAFF staff) (Source: WAFF staff)
ATHENS, AL (WAFF) -

Athens City School leaders fire back a day after a group opposed an upcoming vote on a school tax increase. The group said a tax increase will hurt small businesses. 

District leaders refuted the group's claim Tuesday and say this tax increase will actually help the community. 

Athens Middle School assistant principal Chris Pennington shared video he took recently. He said it shows water leaking through a light fixture during a rain storm. 

District leaders said that is just one of several issues the middle school is dealing with. Other schools have other problems and are in need of much needed renovations.  District leaders want to use the money generated from the tax increase, if it is approved by voters, to pay for the renovations and to help fund building new schools. If the measure passes, then property owners will have to pay an additional $120 a year for every $100,000 of property
owned. 

District leaders said they understand there's opposition, but they believe new schools plus addressing long overdue renovations will only make the district better and benefit everyone. 

"We've got a lot of small businesses that are actually supporting us," said Athens City School Board President Russell Johnson. "The idea that it's going to hurt small businesses...I think it's just the opposite." 

The group opposed to the tax increase is called Stop The Athens Small Business Tax. Their leader told us on Monday he's been attacked because people believe the group is anti-school. He said that's not the case and he has concerns over how much the average Athens small business or homeowner would have to pay if voters approve the measure. 

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