Alexander City Council considers sales tax increase
Roads in Alex City that could be fixed with new tax increase (Source: WSFA 12 News)
ALEXANDER CITY, AL (WSFA) -
Alexander City's City Council has a proposed a 1% sales tax increase that would raise $2.3 million toward infrastructure improvement.
The proposal would increase the city's sales tax from 8.5% to 9.5% and every cent would go toward repaving every mile of the 172 miles of road in the city.
"What we're wanting to do is set up a 12 year schedule to pave about 15 to 16 miles of road a year and over 12 years, we would pave 172 miles and hopefully improve our infrastructure and our roads," said Jim Spann, city council president.
Some local business owners are concerned about what kind of impact such an increase would have on their sales.
"In the firearms business, people shop statewide," said Woody Baird, owner of The Sure Shot. "I'll get phone calls from Birmingham and they'll call and say 'what's your price on this certain gun?', and then the next thing they'll ask is 'what's your tax rate?'. A lot of times, we get a lot of trade out of Shelby and Jefferson county and out of Montgomery county that will drive here to purchase a firearm rather than in their hometown."
City council says the increase is the only way to raise the revenue needed
"We have no alternative," Spann said. "It's almost like saying if what you have is what you like, then that's what you get. You know, if we don't get any more money, we can't do anymore road work. We can't improve downtown, we can't improve the arteries, the feeder roads, the major roads, we can't improve them."
Some remain skeptical if this is the case however.
"I mean have we really looked at what we need to cut, if we're that critical, then have we really looked at those things that we could cut and still not have the increase in sales tax and make the city more attractive to retail, and people coming in for retail business," Baird asked.
Another town hall meeting to discuss the tax increase will be held July 24 at the Cooper Community Center.
City Council is expected to vote on the proposal on August 5.