• 54°

Council, board discuss Limestone tax dispute

Concerned residents and parents listen as Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler speaks at a joint meeting of Madison Board of Education and Madison City Council to discuss the impact of Limestone County taxes. CONTRIBUTED
Concerned residents and parents listen as Madison City Schools Superintendent Dr. Dee Fowler speaks at a joint meeting of Madison Board of Education and Madison City Council to discuss the impact of Limestone County taxes. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Parents, property owners and elected officials from Madison and Limestone counties gathered for a joint session of Madison City Council and Madison Board of Education on April 18.

The spirited meeting at Central Office focused on the Limestone County tax dispute and its impact on funding for Madison City Schools (MCS).

“There was some great dialogue from all parties. At the heart of the issue is sustainability of MCS with continued enrollment growth fueled mostly by development in Madison city portions of Limestone County,” John Peck said. Peck is MCS Manager of Public Relations.

A Limestone County commissioner said the commission isn’t responsible, but the Limestone school board is refusing to pay.

“MCS is facing large budget cuts this next school year because of the Limestone County education tax withholdings,” Peck said. Fowler said the result will be “a deficit year, having more expenditures than revenue” for MCS — only the second time in 10 years.

Ronica Ondocsin, District 7 City Councilwoman, said, “We talked about some important aspects of what the council can and can’t do in the effort. We have agreed to look at our annexation policies to see where we want to go with those. Once we come to a consensus, we will certainly discuss with the board of education and residents.”

Ondocsin stated her own observations and did not speak for all of council.

“City Council has been engaged in conversations with all parties involved in the dispute. We will continue to try to encourage a resolution that doesn’t involve litigation,” Ondocsin said. “We have no control of the ongoing lawsuit. The city is not a party in that lawsuit.”

“Madison residents, especially those residing in Limestone County we have heard from, are certainly upset about the refusal of Limestone County to pay the education tax dollars to educate Madison City/Limestone County students,” Ondocsin said. “Madison City residents residing in Limestone County are paying education taxes and receiving no benefits.”

Furthermore, these individuals cannot vote for members of Limestone County Board of Education, even though they live in Limestone County. “City Council is listening to the concerns of the (Madison) school board and residents and understand their frustrations with annexations in Limestone County.”

“It’s good that conversations have started. It’s good that residents are aware of what is happening. City Council certainly wants to be part of the solution, and we will work on what we have control over to help ease the strain of new students to the school system,” Ondocsin said.

Madison

Mill Creek Greenpower Team motors to first place in Oxford

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Competition Cheer Team takes fourth state title

Madison

The celebration continues: Madison Street Festival awards grants to 16 Madison educational programs

Events

The Loomis Brothers Circus returns this weekend

James Clemens High School

Wyche earns full-tuition scholarship from Cameron Education Foundation

Madison

ReadyFest returns to underscore need for preparedness

Madison

Winter Knights Chess Tournament sets record attendance

Harvest

Delta Sigma Theta plans exciting evening with ROUGE – A Go Red Event

Events

Burritt on the Mountain to host Shane Adkins for Coffeehouse Concert series

Bob Jones High School

Sponsors essential to achieving Madison Street Festival’s traditions

Madison

Registration opens to vie for seat in pre-kindergarten

Huntsville

Former doctor from Madison sued for overdose death

James Clemens High School

Donaldson piloting James Clemens as Acting Principal

Madison

Discovery of woman’s body in Hazel Green leads to investigation of possible murder-suicide

Huntsville

Rookie Rally Chess Tournament returns to Blossomwood

Huntsville

Arts Huntsville awards $280,000 in grants to area arts organizations

Bob Jones High School

Nichols’ podcast reflects on MCS’ 25th anniversary

Madison

Regions Bank on Madison Blvd robbed again

Madison

JAN. 20 DEADLINE: Madison Visionary Partners asking for nominations for first annual MVP awards

Madison

Damaging winds, flooding possible tonight

Madison

Community remembers Donald Spencer’s public service

Madison

Water main break postpones Bob Jones vs. Austin basketball games

Madison

Library sessions to offer backyard planting tips to novice gardeners

Madison

Editorial: King’s words speak to all

x