TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Downtown business owner Laura Yoder made it clear where she stands on the current one-cent sales tax: end it and be done with it.
“We have a lot of people who shop out of town and they say our sales tax is too high,” said Yoder.
“It’s kind of a challenge," said Tallapoosa County Commission Chairman T.C. Coley.
Chairman Coley acknowledges the angst a number of people have with the issue.
“The thing about it is we aren’t willy nilly trying to raise taxes," said Coley.
The county commission voted to raise the sales tax by a penny more than three years ago. The goal at the time was to help the county school district meet its state-mandated one month reserve and more. Mission accomplished.
Today, there are greater needs between the county school system and Alex City school districts; both have indicated they want to take on $72 million worth of combined school projects such as renovations, expansions and possibly a new high school in Alex City. The additional sales tax drives in around $3 million a year in revenues evenly split between the school districts.
“Especially with our high schools and elementary schools. Some of them are 60 years old,” said Coley.
“They haven’t built any more infrastructure with the money and we really don’t see where the money is going," said Yoder.
The county commission has three choices: extend it, end it or table it for another day. Chairman Coley says it’s too early for now to predict a vote because county commissioners are still gathering information from the school districts. One thing we do know, come Aug. 12, Laura Yoder plans to be there.
An unofficial sampling of the county seems to show a very mixed bag of viewpoints on the matter. The county commission meeting on Aug. 12 begins at 9 a.m.