How you feel and how you voted on the Baldwin County tax renewals depends heavily on where you live.
The top nine voting precincts casting the most “no” votes are mostly rural and mostly in the far north part of the county
Stockton, Crossroads, Little River, Vaughn, Seminole all voted at least 60-percent “no.”
Those communities were followed by Perdido, Tensaw, Rabun, and Whitehouse Fork.
“The rural areas that need the money the most, they’re voting against it,” noted Jon Gray, a Mobile-based political strategist who has worked on school funding campaigns across the state
Ten precincts voted 60-percent or more “yes” to the renewals. Nine of them are on the Eastern Shore, from Spanish Fort to Point Clear, and feed into Spanish Fort, Daphne, and Fairhope High Schools. These are the same communities that had a better appetite last year for proposed new taxes.
It’s a real geographical divide and it has some wondering again if there will be renewed interest in breakaway systems on the Eastern Shore.
“City leaders in these areas are going to say ‘wait a minute! We are paying a huge proportion of Baldwin County’s education taxes and these other people don’t want anything to do with it,” said Gray. “So they’ll be asking, would we be better off doing our thing?”
Superintendent Eddie Tyler says he’s not overly worried about any potential breakaway efforts.
“I think any time a community may have some divisions, those are things you want to address,” said Tyler.
He says he certainly wouldn’t oppose any communities creating their own special tax districts to fund additional projects or programs for their specific schools
“I think those things are all on the table to discuss,” he said.
“Tyler says his biggest concern now his figuring when and how to get that one-mill tax that wasn’t renewed back before the voters, or figure out how they’ll get by with four million fewer dollars a year.
Precincts with largest percentage voting “No”*
Little River 62.6
Vaughn CC 61.6
Tensaw VFW 57.4
Rabun VFW 56.8
Whitehouse Fork 56.2
Precincts with largest percentage voting “Yes”*
Spanish Fort VFW 71.2
Eastern Shore Centre 67.9
Fairhope Civic Center 67.8
Spanish Fort East Pt. Church 66.2
Fairhope 3 Circle 64.9
Point Clear 64.3
Gulf Shores 62.1
Daphne Civic Center 60.8
* Combines 3-mill and 1-mill vote totals