Mountain Brook property taxes could be raised to improve school facilities

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MOUNTAIN BROOK, Ala. (WIAT) — The City of Mountain Brook says that they already have one of the top 20 school systems in the country. But, if they get a little more funding, they can make their already impressive schools even better.

When it comes to education, Mountain Brook residents take great pride in their school system.

“It’s a great school system and that’s why people want to live here and that’s why they want to pay the high property taxes to give their kids a great education,” says Betts Drennen, a Mountain Brook resident whose three daughters all attended Mountain Brook schools. 

But Mountain Brook City Manager Sam Gaston tells CBS 42 that those high property taxes could be raised.

“The task force recommended some improvements to the school system,” explains Gaston. “And so, additional funding would be needed to fund a lot of these improvements.”

And one proposed means of generating the needed funds is to raise the millage rate. Gaston says that if you live in Mountain Brook currently, you are responsible for 99 mills on an annual basis — more than any other city in the State of Alabama. But, if this proposal is ultimately implemented, residents could be responsible for an added ten mills. 

“A ten mill property tax, if it is approved, will raise another six million dollars a year,” says Gaston. He adds that the extra six million dollars would most likely go towards upgrading the facilities at various schools. 

The measure passed the Mountain Brook City Council Monday and will potentially be voted on by the residents.

“I’m in favor of it,” exclaims Drennen. “I’m happy to pay for it! I’m delighted to and I hope they pass it.”

The City emphasizes that they are still hashing out the details and before residents can even vote on the proposal, a bill has to be drafted and passed by the Alabama State Legislature. 

Gaston says that Mountain Brook has not raised it’s property tax rate since 1991. 

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