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Vote could pave way for tax

By By Robert Blankenship
Special to the Advance
The Escambia County Commission voted Monday morning to pass a resolution penned by the county board of education that could give the commissioners the power to pass additional taxes for motor vehicle tags for the purpose of funding education.
Broox Garrett, attorney for the school system, told the commission that he was not asking for them to levy any new taxes, but that the school system felt it was important to follow through on back-up plans in case a 10-mill ad valorem tax is not passed by voters later this year.
"We though it was prudent to do this," Garrett said. "We are asking you to support legislation that would allow the commission to implement and revoke a (motor vehicle) tax for education."
Commission Chairman Larry White said the commission had passed a near-identical resolution earlier and that it was already in Montgomery. Both of the resolutions will have to be passed by the state legislature before they are official.
David Stokes made a motion to pass the resolution and it was seconded by Todd Williamson. The commission voted unanimously to approve the resolution.
Other items discussed by the commission included:
"I am concerned for a lot of the people who have to work outside of the county," Dean said. "It would not put an economic bind on the county and it would be more convenient for voters."
Currently the state is looking at changing the voting hours to be uniform. Dean said he did not trust that the state would act quickly enough or approve the measure.
White said the bill has passed the House, and that the county would know if it had passed well before the fall election.
"We will have plenty of time to react (to the state's bill). There seems to be a real push to get it through this time," White said; and