WTVM 9/30/13 Editorial: Auburn votes no on higher property taxes

(WTVM) - Auburn voters recently made a choice, saying "no" to higher property taxes that would have funded a new high school.

So what will be next for the parents and students in Alabama's fastest growing school system?

In a recent special election, nearly 10,000 Auburn voters went to the polls and 54 percent rejected a $9 million property tax increase.

Had it passed, the average resident would have paid $16 more per month, generating more than $8 million a year, allowing Auburn to build a new high school.

With that option now off the table, Auburn's school superintendent Karen Delano calls it a crisis with severe challenges.

She says the district may have to eliminate bus routes, cut fine arts, trim athletics, and cut jobs like bus drivers and school resource officers. The superintendent says local money will have to be used to build additional classrooms.

Delano called this a vote against schools.

We don't agree with that sentiment. We understand why people don't want to pay higher property taxes right now, but as with every vote, there are consequences.

Parents should not be surprised when there's an increase in teacher-to-student ratios at schools in Auburn, which sees 400 more new students added to the district every year.

It will be hard to complain, when a majority said "no" to this tax hike for schools.

In the meantime, parents can help Auburn's growing school population. Get involved in your child's school, donate time or money, if you can.

Look for ways to be part of the solution to help Auburn schools struggle with the financial reality they face.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
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Columbus, GA 31906

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