By Web Staff – email
AUBURN, AL (WXTX) – Auburn city council members are expected to raise the local sales tax by one percent. Mayor Bill Ham says the hike is necessary in order to fund new school construction projects.
More than five-hundred new students moved into the Auburn school system this year. Superintendent Dr. Terry Jenkins said the growth is positive sign teachers are doing a fantastic job, but school facilities are strained.
"There is an immediate need for the school board to build a new elementary school and more funding to buy land for a new high school," says Mayor Ham.
The projects will cost $18 million and that is just for the new elementary school and land for the high school.
A new high school building will cost another $80 million.
With a major gap in state funding, school leaders are turning to the city council for help.
The two areas the city council has authority over is sales tax and occupational tax.
Mayor Ham believes in the next 60 days a majority of city council members will vote to raise the city sales tax from 8 to 9 percent.
He says the last time the council raised sales tax was 7 years ago.
While it is not a popular thing in the community, Mayor Ham says it is necessary to make sure Auburn city schools continue to provide an excellent educational system.