Stark Geographical Divide in Baldwin Tax Vote

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”*

 

Stockton                                             66.9

Crossroads                                          63.9

Little River                                           62.6

Vaughn CC                                          61.6

Seminole                                             61.4

Perdido                                                57.7

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

Belforest                                         61.1

Barnwell                                          60.9

Daphne Civic Center                         60.8

 

* Combines 3-mill and 1-mill vote totals

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