Voters in Baldwin County were asked to consider countywide one-mill and three-mill property taxes the school system says have been levied for nearly 100 years. The combined four mills, which come up for renewal every 30 years, represent about $16 million in funding for the system.
Last March, voters rejected the renewals along with additional taxes that would have funded a capital campaign in the school system. But the three-mill property tax renewal survived Super Tuesday’s vote with 31,269 yes votes to 24,798 no votes.
The county’s one-mill renewal received 33,851 yes votes to 22,873 against, but at just over 59 percent it did not pass because it did not cross the 60 percent threshold. The one-mill tax was worth approximately $3.6 million for the school system.
Baldwin County Schools Superintendent Eddie Tyler was encouraged by the passage of the three-mill tax, but said the one-mill tax was used to pay teacher salaries, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other services in the system.
“We’ll have to sit down and figure out what to do,” Tyler said. “Naturally, losing about $4 million in funding isn’t chump change.”
Tyler said he was thankful that Baldwin County residents did approve the three-mill renewal.
“I’m thankful to be in this position tonight and not where we were at this time last year,” Tyler said. “It is good to know that the public went out and supported public education today. The support was up greatly over last year, and that’s encouraging.”
Meanwhile, Baldwin County Board of Education President and District 7 representative Shannon Cauley won the Republican primary 53 percent to 46 percent on Tuesday.
Cauley, who faced opposition from Daphne area businessman Chris Francis, secured 3,345 votes to Francis’ 2,875 in the primary. She faces no opposition in the upcoming general election.
Cauley released a statement on her Facebook page around 10 p.m. on Tuesday.
“I am honored and grateful to be elected to continue serving as your BCBE (District 7) representative,” she said. “Thank you to all of those who volunteered their time and energy in my campaign and to the voters for their continued confidence in me. I congratulate my opponent, Chris Francis, on a well run campaign.”