Baldwin County education tax, state budget crisis and tax deadline approaching

Apr 14, 2015

Terry Burkle, Executive Director of the Baldwin County Education Coalition

Baldwin County school officials plan to meet today to talk about the failure of a tax plan at the ballot box. That meeting will focus on what to do now.

The referendum was voted down March 31. It would have given the county an 8 mill property tax increase. Voters in Baldwin County also voted to end existing funding that gives Baldwin County 12 mills a year. Now, Baldwin County only has 8 mills total in education tax revenue, and needs to get to the state-mandated 10 mills.

Terry Burkle is the Executive Director of the Baldwin County Education Coalition. She says the County Commission could get involved to help meet the state requirements.

"My understanding is that they would then have the authority to levy the two additional mill so that we would meet the 10 mill required that we have to send to the state."

The Baldwin County School Board will meet today to decide their next course of action.

Gov. Robert Bentley is continuing his tour of speaking engagements to try to build public support for a tax proposal.

The governor will discuss the General Fund budget crisis in a speech to members of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce today in Montgomery.

Bentley said in speeches last week that the state will face deep cuts in services and state programs unless lawmakers find a way add additional revenue to the state's budget.

The governor says the impact of those reductions could range from the closure of state parks to substantial cuts to programs for children and seniors.

Bentley has proposed $541 million in tax increases, including increases in tobacco taxes and automobile sales taxes. However, lawmakers have yet to vote on any of his proposals.

Tomorrow is tax day. If you're like most people, there's a chance you overlooked something.

Tax preparers say the list can include deductions, job hunting expenses, medical bills and even some gambling losses. There are some changes that could play into how you file your taxes this year.

Tax expert Greg Rosica says the Affordable Care Act will cause some of those changes.

“If you have health insurance through your employer, there is a new box you have to check on your tax return -- you just check that. If you purchased health insurance through the marketplace, you would have received Form 10-95, you take that and incorporate it into your tax return. The third situation, you just simply didn’t get health insurance, you both have a penalty to pay as well as a new form to fill out.”

Post offices are ready for last minute filers. Alabama postal employees are reminding their customers to pay special attention to Post Office retail hours and blue collection box pick-up times.

Montgomery officials have begun the planning process to celebrate the 60th anniversary of a bus boycott cited as the start of the civil rights movement.

City officials have been considering a youth summit, but no details have been finalized.

The famous boycott began days after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery city bus on Dec. 1, 1955.

Montgomery mayoral chief of staff Anita Archie says this year's celebrations around the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery march increased consciousness of Alabama’s civil rights milestones and set a good precedent for getting young people involved.