Councilman: Repeal Sales Tax Hike If State Reneges On Road Deal

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Just one month after it was passed there are already calls for a repeal of the city of Huntsville’s one-cent sales tax hike, but it comes with a caveat.

City Councilman Bill Kling told WHNT News 19 that he will call for full repeal of the tax increase if the Alabama Department of Transportation does not follow through on its pledge to fund fifty percent of a massive road improvement project.

Kling said he doesn’t trust the word of state officials after ALDOT pulled the plug on nearly $500 million worth of other road work last spring. He told WHNT News 19 that he will formally introduce his proposal at Thursday night’s city council meeting.

“I do have some concerns about whether or not the state will renege on this agreement at some time,” said Kling. “I think we need to watch them carefully…If the state reneges on this road agreement with the city at any time then I would certainly think it would be appropriate for us to rescind the new one-cent sales tax. Hopefully the state will live up to its word.”

Officials with Mayor Tommy Battle’s office said the road-sharing agreement between the state and city that was struck last fall will be formally finalized in the near future, with no indications of the state backing out.

State officials pledged to fund $125 million worth of the five-year project if the city picked up the remaining $125 million. Council members unanimously voted for the tax hike after an amendment that would have let the increase expire after five years was defeated by a 3-2 tally.