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October 21, 2011   Email to Friend 

FEDERAL JUDGE UPHOLDS ALABAMA PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM
Jeff Helms
334-613-4212
October 21, 2011

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Oct. 21 -- A federal judge ruled Friday that Alabama's property tax system does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith issued an 850-page ruling in Lynch vs. State of Alabama that criticized the state's approach to funding schools, but stated the parents of school children who brought the lawsuit had failed to prove the property tax system is discriminatory.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange issued a statement saying Smith's ruling supports the State's argument that Alabama's property tax system does not violate civil rights and is responsive to the wishes of Alabama voters.

"Today's ruling in Lynch v. Alabama confirms the State's consistent position that Alabama's property tax structure does not violate the United States Constitution," Strange said. "It is the prerogative of the citizens of Alabama, through their elected representatives, to structure a tax system in a manner that best serves their interests. The Office of Attorney General remains committed to defending and vindicating this important right whenever necessary."

The case was tried this spring in Smith's Huntsville courtroom. It lasted four weeks and included testimony that traced Alabama's history from the Civil War to George Wallace.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs issued a statement Friday calling the judge's opinion "regrettable" but did not indicate whether they intend to appeal the decision.


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