CULLMAN, AL (WBRC) - Superintendent Shane Barnette is disappointed that Cullman County commissioners decided Tuesday to repeal a recently passed half-cent sales tax that would help fund school projects and safety improvements around the district.
Barnette tells us he found out about today’s decision on social media.
"I never saw it coming. Nobody talked to me before their meeting today,” Dr. Shane Barnett, Cullman County Schools Superintendent said.
Some projects are now on hold.
"We’ve got orders in for new video cameras and additional fencing that I have to call and cancel. Its heartbreaking,” Barnette said.
County Commissioner Garry Marchman who voted for the repeal says he never should have voted for the sales tax to begin with.
"Under the circumstances and the way that things had worked out that I wasn't for the half-cent sales tax now without letting the people vote for it,” Marchman said.
Some of the half-cent sales tax money would help fund a $30 million county schools athletic complex known as “Project X” before the tax passed. The specifics of that project were revealed after the vote. But after taking heat from the community, the superintendent decided to shelve the project.
Barnette isn't sure if that's the reason for the repeal. Now the district will have to fund projects on its own including a new home ec building and classrooms at Holly Pond High School.
"Instead of that being paid off in just a few years, I’ll have to drag it out to be paid off over a long time. We go back to putting band aids on stuff like we have for the past 50 years,” Barnette said.
Commissioner Marchman really didn’t pinpoint his exact reasoning for his vote just saying it was because a combination of things. We’re told this issue could go to voters next year.