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Atmore voters approve school tax

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
Atmore residents voted overwhelmingly to extend an ad valorem tax to benefit the city's schools and the city in a special election Tuesday.
The vote was 228 for and 79 against. The election, which was open to Atmore residents only, was held at city hall with 302 turning out to vote and five absentee ballots sent in.
One condition of the ad valorem tax is that it must be put to a vote of the people every 20 years. Voter turnout was considerably lower this time than the last time the tax was up for a vote. In 1980, the vote was 904 to 186 to extend the tax through Sept. 30, 2000.
Last year, the four schools – Rachel Patterson Elementary, A.C. Moore Elementary, Escambia County Middle and Escambia County High schools – shared more than $217,000 generated by this tax which is levied on Atmore residents only. Schools receive 5 mills (33 1/3 percent) of the revenue, while the other 66 2/3 percent goes into the city's general fund.
The tax partially funds an assistant principal at Escambia County High School and one at Escambia County Middle School, a choral teacher shared by ECHS and ECMS and an art teacher at ECHS.