Jefferson County’s 12 School Systems Getting Windfall From Bond Issue

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens

Don’t be surprised if school board presidents and superintendents attending a luncheon with the Jefferson County Commission skip the cake or pie that follows their main course.

They’ll have a much bigger treat awaiting them.

While meeting in committee this morning, commissioners authorized the county manager to distribute the remaining unspent proceeds from the education sales and use tax, an amount totaling $69 million.

“We will do that at a very nice luncheon on the 20th of this month,” Commission President Jimmie Stephens said. “We will officially present the checks to all the school superintendents and the board presidents.”

Stephens said the Jefferson County Commission refunded, or refinanced, the 1 cent sales tax and thus was able to save money.

“This initial $69 million distribution will be from the old sales tax that was collected but not needed to retire the debt,” he said. “It’s a leftover and the commission thought it was appropriate for it to go back to the school systems, and we will begin to do that.”

Going forward, the anticipated annual distribution will be $18 million.

Distributions by School System

System 2018 Total Costs % Distribution Distribution
Bessemer $20,981,895.00 3.56518 $2,459,972.28
Birmingham $136,474,878.00 23.18938 $16,000,761.85
Fairfield $10,064,516.00 1.71013 $1,179,990.19
Homewood $23,513,662.00 3.99537 $2,756,803.27
Hoover $77,864,598.00 13.23051 $9,129,049.24
Leeds $10,804,206.00 1.83582 $1,266,713.39
Midfield $6,303,127.00 1.07101 $738,995.10
Mountain Brook $24,818,554.00 4.21709 $2,909,792.22
Tarrant $6,606,360.00 1.12253 $774,546.94
Trussville $25,577,198.00 4.34600 $2,998,737.63
Vestavia Hills $40,361,335.00 6.85807 $4,732,068.54
Jefferson County $205,152,870.00 34.85893 $24,052,659.36
$588,523,199.00 $100.00 $69,000,000.00


Vision and Dental Care

In another matter, commissioners agreed to waive the rent the county receives from Cahaba Valley Health Care for its 5,000-square-foot space on the seventh floor of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.

Executive Director Edwina Taylor said the nonprofit provides vision and dental care for underserved people in Jefferson and Shelby counties. It moved to Cooper Green a year and a half ago, paying $1,000 per month to serve 150 patients.

“Since then, instead of 150 people, we have treated 467 of their people,” Taylor said. “It was suggested to us that we ask for the rent to be knocked down to nothing because we have provided $118,000 worth of care for Cooper Green patients so far. This is all pre-care – fillings and extractions, and X-rays.”

Commissioners did ask Taylor to provide a breakdown of the residences of the persons served by the nonprofit.