Auburn schools face huge tax hike

Auburn schools face huge tax hike

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - School leaders in east Alabama say a new high school is needed to handle a large number of new students and growth, without compromising Auburn's national reputation of excellence in education and raising taxes.

Auburn city and school leaders are working on a plan that could forever change the educational landscape of their city, but to make this plan work, they need residents to approve a property tax increase.

In four or five years school leaders hope a new, state-of-the-art high school will be located along a stretch of Samford Road.

Auburn school Superintendent Karen Delano says the 100-acre location has already been secured.

However, the new high school could cost around $82 million dollars or more.

Delano says the board is still crunching numbers and deciding how much of a tax increase will be needed.

Final numbers should be ready by December 18, when the system presents their plan to the city council.

If the council supports it, the state legislature will be asked to approve a referendum so residents can vote yes or no to increasing property taxes.

"One way we are looking at it and I feel is in the moderate range would be if a person owns a 300,000 house, they could be looking at $42 a month more in property taxes," said Delano.

Under the plan, the current high school would become Auburn Junior High for 8th and 9th graders. The new high school will house 10th, 11th and 12th graders.

Delano hopes residents will be able to vote next year.

Delano says if approved, the property tax increase would fund the new high school, and much-needed renovations to Drake and Cary Woods elementary schools.

Delano says if all goes as planned, residents could be voting sometime next year.

News Leader 9 is following this story, and we will keep you updated on any new developments.

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