City Sales Tax Hike Debate Continues

Posted on: 10:14 pm, December 12, 2013, by , updated on: 10:40pm, December 12, 2013

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT) – Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle made his case to city council members Thursday evening a week before they are set to vote on the ordinance that calls for a one-cent sales tax hike city-wide.

“Our infrastructure is essential to our quality of life, and that means keeping that average 18-minute commute time to and from work,” said Mayor Battle. “Huntsville is a regional employment center, and each of these road projects improves our ability to move traffic in congested areas.”

Battle said the additional one percent tax is projected to generate approximately $30 to $35 million per year and will allow the City to match the State’s $125 million funding requirement and commit any remaining funds to new road projects and capital/economic development projects.

“No one wants to raise taxes, but these roads are not wants. They are essential needs,” said Mayor Battle. “The sales tax allows us to proceed with a “pay as you go” approach and does not impose debt on future generations.”

Thursday evening several city council members signaled they would like a sunset clause added to the ordinance, so after five years they could revisit the tax hike and vote on the ordinance again giving residents another time to voice their opinions.

The city of Madison passed a half-cent sales tax hike earlier this year, giving it an overall rate of 9.5 percent for portions in Limestone County and 9 percent in Madison County. The rate in unincorporated parts of Madison County is 5.5 percent.

City officials say if passed the tax would not take effect until March 1, 2014.

5 comments

  • Joseph says:

    Hey this is NOT a 1% increase it is a 12.5% increase! If the tax rate is 8 cents on the dollar now and goes to 9 cents that is 12.5%. Lets represent the tax increase correctly please…

  • Michael Kewl says:

    The Mayor has made his gubernatuoial decision by raising the sales tax for the South Alabama road contractors to be given all the work they need here for Montgomery’s support later.
    No sunshine clause will end up removing the 1% additional tax in 5 years, that is just a sales gimick.
    Let the “100 Club” fund it all as there is no reason for state highway work to be paid for by city taxes.

  • Lamppost says:

    Tax all the dogs in this city and this will raise some of the required funds these people (city politicians) need.

  • TC says:

    Government and money are bad bedfellows. It is hard for me to believe that the money is not already there and is just being wasted on something else. In a time of economical strain, placing more taxes on your citizens is not a good idea, even if it is only one cent on every dollar – which by the way is considerable since most items we have to purchase now are much more expensive than they were even a year ago. Wages in our area are stagnate; some people have not seen an increase in years and have figured out ways to make do. It is long past time that government figures out how to make do as well.

  • Joseph says:

    How about they stop spending on things like retail development at Bridge Street and other feel good projects and take care of the infrastructure FIRST? No new taxes!

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