Opelika Chamber Encourages Vote for School Tax Renewal

File photo from the first day of school for students at Carver Primary School in Opelika, August 2022. PHOTO BY ROBERT NOLES / THE OBSERVER



The Opelika Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recently voted to act as the advocate and leading communicator to encourage a positive voter turnout to support the 11-mil tax renewal that contributes more than $7.1 million in local revenue to Opelika City Schools. Local revenues account for more than 40% of the Opelika City Schools 2023 operating fund.

“A strong education system is so integral to a strong business community,” said Ali Rauch, CEO of the Opelika Chamber. “For this reason, our board of directors voted unanimously to encourage the Opelika community to show up to the polls on Feb. 28 and vote ‘for’ this tax renewal.”

Originally voted on in 1948, this tax renewal started as a five-mil tax, but as the quality of the community and the value of homes rose in this region, so did the value of the tax. In 2000, the five-mil tax transitioned to an 11-mil tax.

“Opelika is incredibly blessed to have such an amazing school system in our town — one that is thriving, growing and producing impressive and capable adults who are college or career-ready,” Rauch said. “A vote ‘for’ this tax renewal for Opelika City Schools is a vote for Opelika and its strong and prosperous future. And, remember, this is not a new tax, but a renewal of an existing tax.”

The Opelika Chamber of Commerce will have “Vote FOR Opelika” yard signs and stickers available for pickup starting Monday, Feb. 6, at both the Opelika Chamber (601 Ave. A, Opelika), and at O Town Ice Cream (700 Second Ave., Opelika). If a business is interested in being a pickup point for signs, please call Rauch at 334-745-4861. Signs and stickers will also be available to attendees at Food Truck Friday on Feb. 3 and 17 in downtown Opelika.

As with all elections, there are some important dates and reminders to be aware of:

• City Clerk Russell Jones is currently accepting absentee ballot applications. Citizens can visit the Opelika city clerk’s office on the first floor of City Hall, located at 204 S. 7th St.

You have the option to vote onsite, early or pick up an absentee application and return it at a later date.

• Thursday, Feb. 23, is the last day to apply for absentee ballots. Applications must be received by the city clerk by 4:30 p.m.

• Monday, Feb. 27, is the last day for a voter to hand-deliver absentee ballots, which must be delivered to the city clerk by 4:30 p.m. Additionally, if an absentee ballot is returned by mail, it must be postmarked by Feb. 27 and received by Feb. 28.

• Tuesday, Feb. 28, is the day of the election. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Standard Time. Opelika polling locations are listed below.

– Ward 1: Covington Community Center, 213 Carver Ave.,

– Ward 2: Opelika Learning Center (Old Jeter Primary School), 214 Jeter St.,

– Ward 3: Opelika Community Center, 1102 Denson Drive,

– Ward 4: EAMC – Educational Center, 2027 Pepperell Parkway,

– Ward 5: Opelika SportsPlex and Aquatics Center, 1001 Andrews Road.

• On Tuesday, March 7, the city council will meet in the courtroom of the Municipal Court Building to canvass the election results at noon.

Should voters have questions about the voting process, we encourage them to contact Opelika’s city clerk at 334-705-5110. For any other questions related to materials and paraphernalia to support the vote, contact the Opelika Chamber at 334-745-4861.


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