VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — People in Vestavia Hills will head to the polls for a special election Tuesday. They’re voting on a 9.8% property tax increase that would go to the city’s school system.

If the new tax is voted in, superintendent Todd Freeman said their vision is to strengthen academic opportunities and invest in facility renovations.

According to school system data, properties assessed at $300,000 dollars could expect to pay $24.50 extra per month.

Properties assessed at $800,000 dollars could pay up to $65.33 per month.

Courtesy: Vestavia Hills City Schools

Freeman called this a strategic investment that would protect their school community’s legacy of excellence.

He said investments would include new STEM and world language classes for elementary students, new learning spaces and renewal of facilities.

Increased counseling is also in the works to help students with non-academic challenges.

“And we would also like to provide additional support for our teachers by having partners or coaches in each of our school buildings that work with all of our teachers to help improve instructional practice,” said Dr. Freeman.

Some community members are not happy about the possibility of paying more out of their pockets each year.

Craig Gallaway and his wife said they’re voting no. They are okay with investing money in schools, but said they wish more time was given to look into these investments and what the school system really means by counseling.

“We need to know the details of what’s going on, especially in today’s situation- today’s environment,” said Gallaway. “So, we wish everybody well. We hope everybody will do whatever homework they can and find out what they can about this and then work with us to make sure that what’s going on in our schools is what we want to have going on there.” 

Others see the value in this kind of investment without question. Elizabeth Batte said their family calculated about $200 more that would be spent out of their pockets.

Batte said the extra money is worth it for her kids’ education.

“They’re going to public schools, and we live in Vestavia, and you know I want them to have just as many opportunities as the 9th graders and 10th graders and all the high schools have, just to give them more exposure to things like that,” said Batte.

Poll locations are open today, May 9, from 7 a.m. to 7p.m. To learn more about the school system’s vision for this possible property tax increase, you can click here.

Polling District/Place 1: Shades Mountain Baptist Church, 2017 Columbiana Road, 35216
Polling District/Place 2: Vestavia Hills Methodist Church, 2061 Kentucky Avenue, 35216
Polling District/Place 3: Mountaintop Community Church, 225 Centerview Drive, 35216
Polling District/Place 4: Vestavia Hills Civic Center, 1090 Montgomery Highway, 35216
Polling District/Place 5: Cahaba Heights Baptist Church, 3800 Crosshaven Drive, 35243
Polling District/Place 6: The Church at Liberty Park, 12001 Liberty Parkway, 35243
Absentee Ballot Box: Vestavia Hills City Hall, 1032 Montgomery Highway, 35216