Gardendale schools to be improved by collected taxes

GARDENDALE, AL (WBRC) - Now that Gardendale has decided against breaking away from Jefferson County schools, what happens to all of the property taxes set aside to support the school system?

The school system's attention has turned to doing what it can to improve all of Gardendale's schools.

"Take those local tax dollars and ingest them into our local schools and all in the intent of improving the education of our schools." Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogeland said.

This could mean fixing up those schools, new programs, more teachers and possibly adding to school security.

"With the latest events in our country, obviously security is a very hot topic and another means where we can help." Hogeland said.

Jefferson County School Superintendent Craig Pouncey fought against Gardendale's separation, but Pouncey says the county stand ready to help them.

"We are hoping to work with the city leaders in Gardendale to look at ways they can positively impact the schools within Gardendale." Pouncey said.

But a lawsuit has been filed challenging the legality of the Gardendale school tax after the courts blocked the school system. A judge could send the money back to taxpayers.

"We don't know how much money we will be able to spend. At the end of the day there will be money that can be put into these schools. I just don't know exactly how it's going to be done." Hogeland said.

Pouncey tells WBRC Fox6 News about $6 million has been raised so far. Hogeland said some of the money has gone to pay for administration costs and legal expenses. WBRC Fox6 News reached out to attorneys who filed the lawsuit and have yet to hear from them.

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