Sumiton increases sales tax to help roads


SUMITON – The Sumiton City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve an ordinance increasing the city’s portion of the sales tax from 3.5 percent to 4 percent.

This will bump the total sales tax collected in Sumiton from 9.5 percent to 10 percent once county and state tax is included. The tax increase begins on Aug. 1.

This ordinance was discussed in the May 21 meeting and posted to give everyone a chance to look at it before acting on the proposal on Tuesday.

Ellis said in earlier meetings that the additional money coming from the sales tax increase would be used for improving city streets and a salary increase for city employees.

“If we’re going to be able to fix the roads that need to be fixed like they need to be fixed, give our employees a raise and operate the city, we need this new money,” Ellis said in April.

Ellis said in April the increase could bring $15,000 a month, which would help with road improvements in the city by pledging $10,000 a month toward a bond or a loan over maybe five to 10 years. 

Estimates for paving all the streets in the city came in at $5.6 million, while half the streets could be paved for $2.8 million, Ellis said last month. 

In other action, the council:

• Heard Ellis reminded everyone that the deadline for filing their Statement of Economic interest was April 31. Anyone who has not filed must do so immediately or face potential fines.

• Heard Ellis report that George Woods and Tim Devito would be attending the Underground Storage Tank Educational Session. The two would also be tasked with handling the underground storage tank compliance. 

• Heard Ellis report that the city has no issue with entering into a memorandum of understanding with Walker County Positive Maturity, but he feels the city needs a better understanding of exactly what is being asked.  It’s basically an agreement that would allow RSVP to reach out to seniors in East Walker County and provide them with opportunities to volunteer and engage in other beneficial activities. The organization offers a wide range of programs and services to seniors. 

Curtis Batson, who is the representative of RSVP, presented the memorandum in the May 21 meeting but he did not attend Tuesday. The organization will have to work with the city to coordinate activities as the center is frequently booked on weekends and evenings, according to Ellis.