By Melanie Patterson
North Jefferson News
The Gardendale City Council passed a 5-mill property tax tonight.
After hearing the first reading earlier this month, the council voted unanimously to levy the first-ever municipal property tax in Gardendale.
The purpose of the tax is to support a Gardendale city school system; the council is planning to separate the four Gardendale schools — Gardendale High, Bragg Middle, Gardendale Elementary and Snow Rogers Elementary — from the Jefferson County School system.
In addition, the city will hold a special election on Nov. 12 to levy an additional 5 mills of property tax. By law, the most the city could pass without a vote was 5 mills.
The city will host two town hall meetings to inform citizens and answer questions prior to the special election. The meetings are Oct. 10 and Oct. 28, 6:30 p.m., at the Gardendale Civic Center.
Gardendale citizens already pay 50.1 mills in property taxes every year. Of that amount, 30.1 mills goes to the Jefferson County board of Education and 20 mills goes to the Jefferson County government.
If Gardendale forms its own school system and pulls out from the Jefferson County system, the 30.1 mills of property tax that Gardendale citizens currently pay would be allocated to the Gardendale city school system rather than the county school system.
The property tax that the city council levied tonight will go into effect in Oct. 2014.
If citizens on Nov. 12 approve an additional 5 mills of property tax, it would go into effect in 2015.
Look here and in Wednesday’s edition of the North Jefferson News for a detailed article about how much residents can expect to pay, how the tax is figured, who is exempt and more.