Lee County Commission Approves Special Tax Election

Auburn, Opelika and Lee County are set for a special election in two months. You will be able to vote on raising the millage rate for education on August 28. The Lee County Commission approved the final date Monday evening.

Taxes and education were big topics at the Commission meeting Monday evening. A special election will be held for the Lee County, Auburn and Opelika school systems, and you will decide if all three will get a seven mil tax increase. Lee County Schools superintendent John Painter says the extra money will prepare them for growth from BRAC and Kia.

"It'll give us a chance to build some new schools in the Smiths and Beulah corridor. It will also give us a chance to do some renovations and additions in the Beauregard-Samford attendance area and the Loachapoka attendance area," Painter said.

Painter said east Alabama is about to enter a four to five-year renaissance period. He's also glad the three school systems in Lee County have worked hard to get the vote to the public.

"We're very happy about the opportunity to be working together, and we're also very pleased the people of this area understand the correlation between a strong public school system and a strong economic base," said Painter.

The Lee County Commission is hoping the public will show that support once again.

"It was voted in 2001 and passed overwhelmingly, and it was voted again in 2002. It was a different millage, but the same concept. It was a closer vote, but it still passed by 150 votes or more. The citizens of this county seem to support education," said Bill English, Lee County Commission chairman.

Lee County commissioners also voted to take part in the Alabama sales tax holiday this August. Auburn and Opelika participated last year, but the rest of the county did not because the tax dollars go to the school system. The Lee County Board of Education asked the Commission to take part this year to give parents a break on school supplies.