Council decides on amount of hike in sales tax
by Rachel Davis
Jul 03, 2013 | 2249 views | 0 0 comments | 101 101 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SUMITON — The Sumiton Council, after two public hearings, decided to raise the sales tax to 9.5 percent, an increase of 1.5 percent. An ordinance reflecting that amount will be presented at the next regular meeting on July 16.

The motion was made by Ken Russell and the council voted unanimously to approve the amount. The council had previously heard from a couple of local citizens and business owners who were concerned about an increase of 2 percent.

The council first broached the subject of a tax increase almost two months ago, citing increased city costs.

The city of Sumiton in 2004 spent $655,529 on payroll and $229,000 in insurance payments. In 2012, those numbers rose to approximately $1,061,000 for payroll and $309,000 in insurance.

Increases in other areas have also taken a toll on the city’s coffers. The city purchased a new garbage truck recently for approximately $130,000.

Mayor Petey Ellis said that same type of truck cost the city between $65,000 and $70,000 in 1993.

Currently, city businesses collect an 8 percent sales tax on any item sold in the city. Of the 8 cents charged on every dollar, 4 cents goes to the state, 2 cents goes to the county and the city retains the remaining 2 cents. This increase will mean the city will receive 3.5 cents for each dollar spent on products in the city. Sumiton’s last sales tax increase was in 1985.

In other business, the council:

•approved the alcohol license for Los Rancheros.

•waived a fee for the Sumiton Housing Authority. The council waived the fee last year as well.

•decided to limit payroll-deductions to five companies. There are currently four companies. Future companies will have to have a minimum of six people sign up in order to be a payroll-deducted service.

•approved a resolution to maintain and improve the city’s sewer system and employee education, in accordance with the Department of Environmental Management’s report and recommendations.