Dothan Commissioner debate local grocery sales tax

By Daniel Curtis - bio | email

Dothan, Ala. (WSFA) - Earlier this month Dothan City Commissioner Keith Seagle introduced an economic stimulus plan designed to increase revenue for the city.

A pillar of his plan was removing the four percent local sales tax on groceries.

Nearly two weeks after Commissioner Keith Seagle released his proposal; the Dothan city commission made their final decisions on the matter at their meeting Tuesday.

As the meeting began a small crowd met outside city hall supporting the issue.

"We would like not to buy sales tax on our groceries, it's especially important to those who live at the poverty level," said George Maxwell, a Dothan resident.

However after discussion from the city commission and residents Mayor Pat Thomas said state law says this proposal is illegal.

"The law enacted in 1999 says that we can't do anything more than the state can do, our laws must mirror state laws right now state law, there is no grocery tax exemption therefore we can't have a grocery tax exemption," explained Thomas.

Even though commissioners didn't move forward on the grocery tax proposal commissioner Seagle said he'll continue to fight for it.

"Anyone who thinks that missing it by one is going to slow me down doesn't know me very well," said Seagle.

The three commissioners who were in favor of the proposal were Amos Newsome, John Craig, and Keith Seagle.