published Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Commission, school officials discuss PILOT money


by Dan Whisenhunt

As Hamilton County School officials meet today with the Hamilton County Commission, one topic of discussion is how the county will spend payment-in lieu-of-taxes money designated for schools.

PILOT agreements are property tax breaks that excuse companies from tax bills for a period of time except for the portion of the tax that goes to schools.

Commission Chairman Larry Henry said the money, initially designated for school construction, is not going to be enough to build schools. He said the money could be used to fund school emergency needs.

"I think when you get along those lines, you could look at that PILOT money for emergencies," Henry said. "One area that comes to mind would be textbooks."

Deputy School Superintendent Rick Smith asked how the schools could request money for these needs.

Henry said the requests would be made to the chairman of the commission’s Education Committee, currently Commissioner Warren Mackey, who would bring the requests to the full commission.

For complete details, see tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

about Dan Whisenhunt...

Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...

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