Wetumpka city council considers sales tax increase, appoints new police chief

Wetumpka city council considers sales tax increase, appoints new police chief
The City of Wetumpka could vote to raise sales taxes by 2 percent.

WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - The City of Wetumpka could vote on a potential one percent sales tax increase. During a Monday night council meeting, they did the first reading of the proposed amendment to the current tax ordinance.

It's been more than 20 years since the city has had a sales tax increase, according to Mayor Jerry Willis.

Currently, Wetumpka's combined rate is 8 percent, below several other municipalities nearby. Millbrook sits at 8.5 percent, Prattville at 9.5 percent, and Montgomery at 10 percent.

Willis says an external audit done over the last two years showed the city has more money going out than coming in. With the proposed one percent increase, it would generate roughly $2 million in new revenue for the city.

The additional revenue would go towards helping cover debt and the day to day operations, among other things.

"This would give us some what of a buffer," Mayor Willis said. "Our employees have not had a pay increase in over five years. It would give us a chance to address that. I have cut everywhere you could possibly cut. That is what the auditors have said, 'Mayor you can't cut anymore you have to have more revenue.' This would be the way of getting an additional penny added to our tax revenues."

No vote was taken Monday night. It will be two weeks before the council convenes again, and the item will be back on the agenda.

The Wetumpka City Council also voted to appoint Greg Benton to the position of police chief. Benton had been serving as interim police chief since May. He stepped in to that role when Chief Danny Billingsley passed away from cancer.

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