Jefferson County School Taxes, House Seat on Tuesday’s Ballot

Jefferson County voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to extend a series of property taxes that fund local schools.

Also on the ballot is the Democratic primary race to fill the state House District 58 seat left vacant by the retirement of former Rep. Oliver Robinson.

School officials and advocates for weeks have been reminding people that there is an election March 7 and asking that they vote to extend the property taxes for schools. The taxes were enacted about 30 years ago but are set to expire in 2021. Voters will decide Tuesday whether to extend them for another 25 years, to 2046.

Jefferson County school Superintendent Craig Pouncy and other superintendents have said the property taxes help schools pay for things not funded through state and federal taxes. They provide a total of $100 million a year for academic programs, facility upgrades, textbooks, buses, computers and other education needs.

Which taxes appear on the ballot depends on where you live.

All Jefferson County voters will be asked whether to extend two taxes that are split among all school systems countywide. Those taxes, which property owners already are paying, are 2.1 mills and 5.4 mills, for a total of $7.50 in taxes on every $1,000 in taxable value of their property.

Additionally, people who live in the following school districts will be asked whether to extend the following taxes for their schools:

  • Jefferson County school system, 5.1 mills and 8.8 mills.
  • Birmingham schools, 5.7 mills and 7.1 mills.
  • Fairfield schools, 5.8 mills.
  • Midfield schools, 6 mills.
  • Homewood schools, 5.5 mills and 9.6 mills.
  • Bessemer, 5.4 mills.
  • Mountain Brook, 5.7 mills and 18.5 mills.
  • Hoover, 13.9 mills.
  • Trussville, 5.1 mills.
  • Tarrant, 11.2 mills.
  • Leeds, 5.1 mills and 8.8 mills.
  • Vestavia Hills, 15.1 mills.

You can see the Jefferson County ballots here.

House Race

Some Jefferson County voters also will be asked to pick among three Democratic candidates vying to take Robinson’s District 58 seat in the state House of Representatives.

Robinson retired late last year, saying he wanted to avoid any conflicts of interest because his daughter recently had been appointed as Gov. Robert Bentley’s liaison to the House.

Democrats running for the seat are: Rolanda Hollis, a real estate broker; James T. Howell, a member of the Center Point City Council; and Rodney Huntley, a retired prison guard and former neighborhood association president.

If a runoff is needed, it will be held May 23.

No Republicans have qualified to run for the seat.

If you’re unsure whether you live in House District 58, you can look up all of your elected officials here.