Gulf Shores City Board of Education, et al. v. Mackey, et al.Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs Gulf Shores City Board of Education and Kelly Walker appealed a circuit court's dismissal of their complaint seeking certain declaratory and mandamus relief against the Superintendent of the Alabama State Board of Education; the Revenue Commissioner of Baldwin County; certain Baldwin County Commissioners; the Baldwin County Board of Education; a Baldwin County Circuit Judge; the Baldwin County District Attorney; and Coastal Alabama Community College ("CACC"). This case involved the interplay among § 16-13-31(b), § 40-12-4, and § 45-2-244.077, Ala. Code 1975, a part of § 45-2-244.071 et seq., Ala. Code 1975 ("the local-tax act"), which authorized the Baldwin County Commission to levy a 1% sales tax in Baldwin County paralleling the state sales tax found in § 40-23-1 through § 40-23-4, Ala. Code 1975. In 2017, the Gulf Shores Board was created to oversee an independent city school district pursuant to a resolution adopted by the City of Gulf Shores. The Gulf Shores Board and the Baldwin County Board entered into negotiations that resulted in a separation agreement pursuant to which the Gulf Shores Board obtained certain assets and assumed certain liabilities of the Baldwin County Board. Additionally, the separation agreement provided that taxes collected specifically to fund public schools in Baldwin County would be apportioned according to the apportionment provisions in § 16-13-31(b) and § 40-12-4(b) so as to include the Gulf Shores Board as a recipient. However, the separation agreement did not address apportionment of the proceeds of the local tax. The president of the Gulf Shores Board stated in his affidavit that the "parties specifically agreed to disagree [as to] whether the [local] tax was required to be apportioned." The Gulf Shores Board demanded but did not receive a share of the local-tax proceeds. Plaintiffs filed their initial complaint against the superintendent, the revenue commissioner, and the county commissioners, seeking mandamus relief requiring that the local-tax proceeds be apportioned to include the Gulf Shores Board as a recipient and/or a judgment declaring that the local-tax act was unconstitutional. The Alabama Supreme Court concluded the Gulf Shores Board lacked standing to bring its constitutional claim, and Walker could not show that the local tax was a levy of special taxes on her as a citizen of a definite locality expended in some other locality. Accordingly, dismissal was affirmed.