Opponents Of Andalusia Sales Tax Increase Voice Opinions

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By Catalina Trivino

Shoppers in Andalusia could see a big hike in the city sales tax in the coming weeks... but there's one group in Andalusia that's rallying against that proposed change.

What city leaders are proposing is a one-and-a-half cent sales tax increase, which means people shopping in Andalusia would pay a total of a 9.5 percent sales tax. It's a proposal that has many voicing their opinion.

It's a war of words about the possible sales tax increase in Andalusia. Dozens of residents, from business owners to your everyday shopper, gathered to talk about why they opposed the possible hike.

Right now, Andalusia's share of the sales tax is $.02 cents, but the city is considering to increase it to 3.5 cents. Making the 8 percent sales tax a thing of the past...

"I see this... that it can be potentially detrimental for small businesses. You know we are already operating under lower profit margins," Said an Andalusia business owner, Janna McGlamory.

That's just one of the reasons that's making this issue a heated debate, but Andalusia Mayor, Earl Johnson, insists the increase is a good idea. He says half a penny would go to Andalusia city schools and one cent would go to help matching funds in grants for future city improvements.

"9.5 percent is the average sales tax for municipalities in the state of Alabama. That's all we're asking for -- to help us with these needs. It's just the average sales tax," Said Johnson.

But still -- a controversial issue that has opposers saying that's not enough of a reason to increase the sales tax.

"I would like to see possibly an ammendment or something on that for 18 months and then after that, revisit it," said another area business owner, Chris Lawrence.

The city recently received an $8.6 million grant to fix one of their busiest roads, South Three Notch Street. In order to make that project a reality, the city has to pay 20 percent of that cost, but Mayor Johnson says if the city does not increase the sales tax, it's likely that won't be happening.

The council will vote Tuesday to decide whether the sales tax will increase. If it's approved, it would go into effect July 1st.

 




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