TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Voters in Tuscaloosa rejected a proposed $8 million property tax increase Tuesday that would have helped the county school system build new schools and pay for more school resource officers.

Superintendent Dr. Keri Johnson says she was very disappointed with the outcome of the vote.

“It didn’t go the way we wanted but we really felt like we really educated our people on what this was all about, so we were really disappointed that voters didn’t show up for us,” Johnson said.

Johnson says her administration will still work hard to give students and teachers what they need to achieve success, but now they will have to dig deep to find other solutions.

“Those things that were our priorities are still important and now we will have to go back to the drawing board to see what we can do to meet the needs of our students,” Johnson said. “Had this passed, all those projects would have been done but now we will have to go back and prioritize which ones are the most important.”

Tuscaloosa County farmer Clyde Leavelle says he and other farmers are glad the vote did not pass. He owns a 500-acre farm and is a part of the Farmers Federation. He said the group put up signs all across the county to oppose the property tax vote.

“Well I think the people of Tuscaloosa County have said clearly that we don’t want a rate increase,” Leavelle said. “For every $100,000 in value, our taxes would have gone up $75, that’s too much for me with inflation and we don’t want to pay more.”

1996 was the last time there was a property tax vote in Tuscaloosa County — it failed and did not pass.