Spanish Fort and Fairhope vote to raise property taxes to fund schools

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UPDATE: Polling officials say Fairhope residents vote in favor of a 3 mill property tax increase for schools. It passed by 500 votes. The uncertified numbers are 2,898 (55%) for and 2,390 (45%) against the increase.

Baldwin County Superintendent Eddie Tyler sent out a statement thanking voters. “After everything our system has been through over the past decade, I can tell you we all feel very blessed to once again have the support of our local communities. On behalf of the 31,000 students and 4,000 employees, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for the opportunity you have given these children,” it read, in part.

In the past, critics of the tax increase said they were skeptical of where the money would actually end up. Others believed the tax increase to be too high.

UPDATE: The Election Task Force says Spanish Fort votes in favor of a 3 mill property tax increase for schools. The uncertified numbers are 1,096 (52%) votes for and 1,013 (48%) votes against the increase.

FAIRHOPE, Ala. (WKRG) — Hundreds of voters on Baldwin County’s eastern shore are expected to go to the polls today to vote on tax referendums in Fairhope and Spanish Fort.

This is a story we’ve been following for months. It encompasses anyone who lives in the feeder pattern for Fairhope and Spanish Fort schools, so it will include some voters who live somewhat outside the municipal limits of those cities.

Voters in both cities are voting on a special 3 mil property tax increase earmarked for schools in those cities. The only major difference is the length of each. If passed, Fairhope’s would last for 30 years while Spanish Fort’s would only last a decade.

People who have children in the school district, anecdotally, seem supportive of this plan. Opponents have been critical of holding an oddly timed, off year vote. It’s not clear which side would benefit from a low voter turnout.

Four years ago, voters in Baldwin County rejected school property tax increases for schools in the failed “Build Baldwin Now” campaign. However, one precinct in Spanish Fort voted in favor of one of the tax increases and eastern shore precincts showed the strongest support for the increase in 2015.

Polls are open from 7 to 7 Tuesday and an official at Baldwin County’s Probate office expects results later this evening.

You can read a sample ballot here.

Baldwin County Probate sent a list of polling locations to News 5 for Tuesday’s special election:

FAIRHOPE ELECTION PRECINCTS

Point Clear, St Francis at the Point Anglican Church

17280 Scenic Hwy 98

Fairhope, AL 36532

42

Fairhope, Civic Center

161 North Section St

Fairhope, AL 36532

43

Fairhope, 3 Circle Church

10274 State Hwy 104

Fairhope, AL 36532

44

Barnwell, Volunteer Fire Department

8587 U S Hwy 98

Fairhope, AL 36532

49

Fairhope, Fairhope Ave Baptist Church

8717 Fairhope Avenue

Fairhope, AL 36532

SPANISH FORT ELECTION PRECINCTS

7

Spanish Fort, New Life Assembly of God Church

10424 Old Highway 31

Spanish Fort, AL 36527

45

Spanish Fort, Community Center

7361 Spanish Fort Blvd

Spanish Fort, AL 36527

46

Spanish Fort, Church of Christ

8100 Spanish Fort Blvd

Spanish Fort, AL 36527

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