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Eva Middlebrooks is the Tallapoosa County Revenue Commissioner.

While the breakdown of numbers may often be perplexing to absorb, data gathered by Tallapoosa County Revenue Commissioner Eva Middlebrooks directly affects how much funding supports the county and city school systems.

Last year, the Tallapoosa County Board of Education received $6,017,342.93 from property taxes, and Alexander City Schools Board of Education received $3,924,074.51. With about 1 percent of Tallassee residents actually living in Tallapoosa County, Tallassee Board of Education also received $315,398.42.

But where do these numbers come from?

According to Middlebrooks, the county is broken into districts and each district has a proportion of property tax funds that are allocated for schools. The millage rates are voted on by the constituents. Although some have renewed, no new millage rates have been passed in nearly 40 years.

“Essentially, 1 mil is equivalent to .001 cent. Each of the seven districts pays 4.5 mils to the countywide schools,” said Middlebrooks.

Alexander City is broken into two districts – one that is located within city limits and another special district for residents outside of city limits but still in the Alexander City school system. So while Alexander City pays into countywide taxes, it also has a separate municipal tax earmarked for the Alexander City school system and is the only one to pay into that.

“Jackson’s Gap is a new district this year. They have always paid into the state, county, schools, etc., but had not been paying a city tax. When it was incorporated in the ’80s, they drew out the municipality but never delivered the millage rate to be collected,” said Middlebrooks.

This will be the first year the county will collect and disburse taxes for the city of Jackson’s Gap.

In August each year, the tax department runs an abstract estimate on how much the county intends to collect that year. That estimate is based on the assessed value of properties in the county, which is then broken into separate tax districts and levies associated with each, explained Middlebrooks.

“The total value of the report gives the estimate we use to figure out what to charge for property taxes on Oct. 1,” she said.

Every property has an appraised value, and the tax rate is calculated on how that property is used. Public utilities pay 30 percent of the appraised value; commercial, rental and unclassified properties pay 20 percent; and primary and secondary residences pay 10 percent.

“After Oct. 1, every 15 days we disburse the money to all the appropriate recipients, including the state, county, boards of education and cities,” said Middlebrooks. “All the money we collect goes out. Nothing stays here. What the boards of education do with it though, I don’t know.”

The percentage of funds awarded to each board of education from the countywide school tax, that is paid be every taxpayer, is determined by the state board of education, driven by calculated costs from the Foundation Program, Middlebrooks said. The Foundation Program’s intent is to provide an equitable, basic funding stream for public K-12 schools in Alabama. All districts in the state have to commit to a mandated 10-mil equivalence in local property tax, which equals $1 million. The funds don’t actually get exchanged but are subtracted from the allotted amount disbursed to that district. In return, the program provides operations money and basic fundamental support for classrooms, including textbooks, technology, professional development, classroom supplies, etc., among other things.

The total allocation for the Foundation Program is determined through formulas and based solely on the number of students enrolled in the previous year, according to its website.

“Each district also pays 6.5 mils to the state and 3 mils of that goes to the state’s school fund,” said Middlebrooks.

Last year, the Alabama State Department of Education received $1,921,119.64 from Tallapoosa County taxes. The state department serves more than 740,000 public schools in 136 school systems.

 

Parcels per district

Alex City inside city limits....................................8,801

Alexander City special district..............................2,802

Midway (Peckerwood area)..................................622

Camp Hill..........................................................838

Dadeville......................................................... 2,217

Tallassee..........................................................1,195

Everything else in the county .............................20,964

A parcel is considered a piece of property, regardless of size.

  

DADEVILLE | 35 Mils

State...............................................6.5

County.............................................8.5

CW Schools..................................... 4.5

Dist. 1.............................................3.0

Sp. Dist. 1...................................... 7.5

City................................................5.0

 

CAMP HILL | 35 Mils

State..............................................6.5

County...........................................8.5

CW Schools.................................... 4.5

Dist. 1............................................3.0

Sp. Dist. 1..................................... 7.5

City...............................................5.0

 

TALLASSEE | 30 Mils

State............................................6.5

County..........................................8.5

CW Schools.................................. 4.5

T-Tax...........................................3.0

Tall 778.......................................2.5

City.............................................5.0

 

SPEC DISTRICT 25-A  | 20 Mils

(outside city limits but still in Alex City school district)

State...........................................6.5

County.........................................8.5

CW Schools................................. 4.5

Dist. 25-A....................................3.0

SP 25-A.......................................7.5

 

ALEX CITY 37.5 Mils

MIDWAY 37.5 Mils

State...........................................6.5

County.........................................8.5

CW Schools.................................. 4.5

Dist. 25-A.....................................3.0

Alex City.........15 (7.5 General & 7.5 Schools)

 

JACKSON'S GAP | 35 Mils

State............................................6.5

County.........................................8.5

CW Schools.................................. 4.5

Dist. 1..........................................3.0

Sp. Dist. 1................................... 7.5

City.............................................5.0