Joint Phenix City, Russell County meeting turns confrontational - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Joint Phenix City, Russell County meeting turns confrontational

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -

A joint meeting among some Phenix City and Russell County leaders turned into a confrontational discussion Monday morning.

They were supposed to talk about solving a so-called unfair split in sales taxes, but the meeting got heated over a letter written from the city to the county. 

The Russell County Commission and Phenix City councilors couldn't seem to stay on course with their meeting on possibly restructuring their tax structure. Instead, emotions ran high between Mayor Eddie Lowe and commissioner Tillman Pugh about a letter asking Phenix City to help pay for an unknown county project.

"For you all to take that letter and say it doesn't mean anything is very disrespectful and that's just not how you handle business," Mayor Lowe said.

"Can I respond to that? I did get the letter and I felt the letter was telling us what we should do to try and collect our taxes, which I felt was disrespectful," Pugh replied.  

It didn't stop there. That conversation led to another hot dialogue with city manager Wallace Hunter.  Pugh claimed that letter appeared to have been written by Hunter and not the mayor. Hunter and the mayor went on the defense, with Hunter making it known that he doesn't try to influence his bosses as indicated in that meeting. 

The meeting ended abruptly with county commissioner Peggy Martin making a motion to adjourn because the talks were going nowhere. 

Local leaders wanted to discuss the possibility of making the distribution of county-wide sales tax more equitable for the county. 

Russell County commissioner Tillman Pugh says "When the city grows the county dies."

Pugh wants the city and county to come to an agreement that would help the county retain tax revenue when the city annexes property from the county into the city and to reconfigure the existing tax base structure.

"When the city annexes property from the county, the county loses 100% of those taxes. I want to make it more equittable so when the city grows the county grows as well,"explained Pugh. 

"We are willing to come to the table with this issue, if the county comes up with some concrete numbers on how to solve this problem. We can revisit it at that time," replied Mayor Lowe. 

Pugh says the county doesn't receive any of the county-wide tax that's collected in the city - it's all allocated to the Russell County School District.    

Here's the current breakdown of the tax allocation: 

Phenix City - 8.75%

Russell County
Police Jurisdiction - 1.75%
County-wide -1% (This is currently allocated to go to the schools.)
Unincorporated Areas (outside city limits and police jurisdiction) - 3%
State - 4%

Total Annual Sales Tax Revenue:
City: $30 million
County: $2.8 million 

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 2 shot, student in custody in IN middle school shooting

    2 shot, student in custody in IN middle school shooting

    Friday, May 25 2018 9:40 AM EDT2018-05-25 13:40:34 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 12:43 PM EDT2018-05-25 16:43:05 GMT

    At least three people have been taken to hospitals, and two of those were reportedly shot.

    More >>

    At least three people have been taken to hospitals, and two of those were reportedly shot.

    More >>
  • Civilians kill gunman after 3 shot at Oklahoma restaurant

    Civilians kill gunman after 3 shot at Oklahoma restaurant

    Friday, May 25 2018 1:02 AM EDT2018-05-25 05:02:34 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 12:55 PM EDT2018-05-25 16:55:46 GMT
    (Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP). Jennifer Stong hugs Tasha Hunt outside the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Stong was inside the restaurant when the shooting occurred.(Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman via AP). Jennifer Stong hugs Tasha Hunt outside the scene of a shooting on the east side of Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Stong was inside the restaurant when the shooting occurred.

    Police: Man armed with pistol shot and wounded two customers at Oklahoma City restaurant before being shot dead by handgun-carrying civilian in parking lot.

    More >>

    Police: Man armed with pistol shot and wounded two customers at Oklahoma City restaurant before being shot dead by handgun-carrying civilian in parking lot.

    More >>
  • Rachel Dolezal, who posed as black, accused of welfare fraud

    Rachel Dolezal, who posed as black, accused of welfare fraud

    Thursday, May 24 2018 9:02 PM EDT2018-05-25 01:02:28 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 2:14 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:14:01 GMT
    (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File). FILE - In this March 20, 2017, file photo, Rachel Dolezal poses for a photo with her son, Langston, at the bureau of The Associated Press in Spokane, Wash. Dolezal, a former NAACP leader in Washington state whose ...(AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios, File). FILE - In this March 20, 2017, file photo, Rachel Dolezal poses for a photo with her son, Langston, at the bureau of The Associated Press in Spokane, Wash. Dolezal, a former NAACP leader in Washington state whose ...
    A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was outed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.More >>
    A former NAACP leader in Washington state whose life unraveled after she was outed as a white woman pretending to be black has been charged with welfare fraud.More >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • Referendum in Ireland could lift strict ban on abortion

    Referendum in Ireland could lift strict ban on abortion

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:32 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:32:46 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 12:56 PM EDT2018-05-25 16:56:53 GMT
    (Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...(Clodagh Kilcoyne/PA via AP). Presiding officer Carmel McBride looks on as a woman casts her vote in the referendum on the 8th Amendment of the Irish Constitution, on Thursday May 24, 2018, a day early for the people that live off the coast of Donegal ...

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>

    Voters throughout Ireland have begun casting votes in a referendum that may lead to a loosening of the country's strict ban on most abortions.

    More >>
  • Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

    Explosion at Indian restaurant in Canada wounds 15 people

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:42 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:42:29 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 12:55 PM EDT2018-05-25 16:55:57 GMT
    Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically. (Source: CTV Network via CNN)Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically. (Source: CTV Network via CNN)

    Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically.

    More >>

    Canadian police say an explosion set off deliberately in a restaurant has wounded at least 15 people, some of them critically.

    More >>
  • Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse

    Trump balks at North Korea's rhetoric but it has used worse

    Friday, May 25 2018 2:22 AM EDT2018-05-25 06:22:51 GMT
    Friday, May 25 2018 12:55 PM EDT2018-05-25 16:55:52 GMT
    A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)A federal judge in New York says President Donald Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter without violating the First Amendment. (Source: CNN)

    North Korea language was milder than its typical inflammatory, harsh rhetoric but enough for Trump to kill summit.

    More >>

    North Korea language was milder than its typical inflammatory, harsh rhetoric but enough for Trump to kill summit.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly