Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mike Gillespie, Madison County Commissioner

Mike Gillespie - History of Tax Increase Support

Mike Gillespie, Madison County Commissioner, Huntsville, Alabama

Sales Tax Increases in Madison County

Tax increases continue to go up, and the AEA Education Lobby and several Madison County
Commissioners have been pushing hard to raise additional taxes.
Our property taxes are now going up on an annual basis due to the
annual reappraisal of property taxes. Further, since the 2005 BRAC
Announcement property values have gone up significantly. Most
property owners reporting 30% to 40% increase in property taxes to
support the public schools. Education leaders and many members of the
Madison County Commission, led by Chairman Mike Gillespie have been
clamoring for more tax increases, especially a 1/2 cent sales tax


The below is documentation of the determination of Mike Gillespie to raise taxes in Madison County.
For the past 2 years, Mike Gillespie has been one of the major leaders to increase sales taxes in Madison County.
Public record and newspaper accounts reflect several occasions of Mike Gillespie working to raise taxes.

Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie said if commissioners place the sales-tax question on the November ballot, supporters
will have to "clearly articulate" to voters why the extra money is needed and how it would be spent.
"I think the needs are there," Gillespie said Tuesday. "It's just a matter of helping the community understand." Sept 20,
2006 Huntsville Times.

"Expect (Mike) Gillespie to say "yes", too, making a pro tax
majority." Sept 24, 2006 Huntsville Times.

"Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie has said he would vote for the
tax in the event of a tie.
The half-cent levy would raise about $21 million a year that the Huntsville, Madison
and Madison County school systems could use to build, repair and
expand schools."
Huntsville Times. Nov 17, 2006

"A divided County Commission shelved the half-cent tax hike Oct. 27 after
four of the six commissioners refused to support it. Commission Chairman
Mike Gillespie, who has voiced support for the tax, votes only in case
of a tie. The commission passed a resolution banning another vote until
after the 2008 elections unless one of the four opposing commissioners
brings it back for reconsideration."
February 16, 2007 Huntsville Times

A referendum for a ½ cent sales tax was voted on in on June 3, 2008, during the Republican and Democratic Primary.
Voters soundly by a 2/3 margin voted against the tax.

At the following meeting of the Madison County Commission, there was discussion of the sales tax vote.
The newspaper account of the meeting mentioned that there were rumors that
commissioners would approve the sales tax after the November election.
A reporter from the Huntsville Times questioned Mike Gillespie and his support of the sale tax.
It was pointed out that previously in 1984, there was a failed sales tax referendum.
However following that failed tax vote, Mike Gillespie and other Madison County Commissioners voted anyway for the sales

The Huntsville Times made this observation:
“Gillespie, the commission's chairman, voted to raise education sales taxes in 1984
after a failed sales tax referendum. But the situation then was "absolutely, 100
percent different," he said, with schools in much worse shape.”
Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Election Day November 4, 2008 – Referendum on Taxes
After two years of efforts of Mike Gillespie in trying to raise sales taxes, the voters had the opportunity on June 3,
2008 to say “No” to more sales
taxes. The tenure of Mike Gillespie reflects a constant effort to vote for additional tax increases and more
support for public schools. The simple question remains, are the educators and Mike Gillespie, correct in asserting
that more money is needed to support the public schools? The election on November 3 in essence is a referendum on taxes.
Those wishing for increasing sales taxes and requiring more support for public schools should obviously vote for Mike
Those oppose to the concept of more taxes have the option to vote for anti-tax Dick French, Republican Candidate for
Chairman, Madison County Commission.

1 comment:

Paul Harris said...


1. Huntsville Public Schools will get the bulk of the sales tax mostly
because most retail businesses are within the City of Huntsville.

2. Huntsville Public Schools are losing students, approximately a
10% reduction since 1993. In 1993 the schools had 24,779 students,
and have declined to 22,803 in 2006. Funding has basically doubled
during that time frame. Cost per student has gone up drastically.

3. 50% of your tax dollars go to pay overhead and for staff. Only
50% of your tax dollars make it to the classroom. The Huntsville
Superintendent of Schools has 15 Cabinet members, a bloated
bureaucracy. The Madison County Schools have a similar bloated

4. Due to the annual reappraisal of property taxes, most of us are
paying 40% more in property taxes, wither we concur or not. Every
year taxes now automatically go up with the rise in property values.

5. Due to the BRAC announcement, most of our property values have
recently jumped another 20% in value, thus add another 20% on to our
future taxes. More automatic tax increases due to annual appraisals
are coming each year.

6. For every family that moves to Madison County, they may live in a
newly constructed house, that provides an increase in the amount of
taxes. A simple drive though our county reflects a not of these are
nice expensive homes in the $200,000 range that will generate a lot of new tax

7. An increase in property taxes was voted down by Madison County
voters in June 2004. The education community at that time cried "Wolf", we don't
have enough money to operate, and much more money is needed for badly
needed new construction. After the tax was voted down, it was
demonstrated that they have plenty of money to operate, and
furthermore, the two largest construction projects began anyway,
despite the so called shortage of funds. The education community and
Superintendent of Education have a serious creditability problem and a problem
with correctly portraying the facts. Voters were given a chance to
voice their feelings and voted against a 1/2 cent sales tax increase
on June 3, 2008.