State Legislature Passes Pike Road Property Tax Bill
Pike Road officials say a new high school for the town is needed but won’t be possible without the community’s support for an increased property tax.
On Monday, the Alabama Legislature passed Pike Road’s proposed property tax legislation. Money from the tax would go towards the building of a new high school.
“The next step is to go out to get the support of the town, which I think we’ve got, and I think we will continue to get,” Pike Road School Board President Ray Hawthorne.
Officials say that the community of Pike Road is growing so rapidly that in just a couple of years the current high school won’t fit the number of students.
“When you have growth, then obviously you are going to have expanded needs,” said Pike Road Mayor Gordon Stone. “Our school board and school system have done a great job of understanding what it is going to take to continue to meet those needs for our growing school system.”
Currently, high school and junior high students take classes at the Georgia Washington campus. Pike Road Schools purchased that building from Montgomery Public Schools and opened it in 2018. It is hoped that after a new high school is built, the Georgia Washington campus will become a junior high school.
The tax itself would be managed by Montgomery County, however, the bill has support from the Town of Pike Road as well. It’s estimated it will take four to five years to build a new school.
“As a parent at Pike Road, I think it is very important that we have schools that can accommodate our growing population in Pike Road and growing population in the school,” Pike Road parent Jennifer Friday.
School and town officials say the tax could allow the district to gain financial independence and help meet the needs of students for generations to come.
“It allows the citizens of Pike Road to have the opportunity to understand the importance of a high school and then to vote for helping to build that high school and continue the growth,” Mayor Stone said.
“Everybody that we have been in contact with supports the bill, not only because it will benefit the town itself, but specifically because it will benefit our students as they grow into the new high school,” Hawthorne said.
The bill is in the hands of Gov. Kay Ivey as she is reviewing it to be signed before it goes over to the hands of voters. Mayor Stone said if the bill does get signed, then a leadership team will schedule a special election day.