Archived Story

Sales tax increase vital to maintain city streets

Published 5:47pm Thursday, July 24, 2014

To Fellow Residents and Business Owners,

The City is faced with a major decision regarding how to keep its promise to you in maintaining roads in the area. The cost to do the project is about $2.3 million annually and the city is not able to generate or borrow that kind of money in its current state.
As you know, we have temporarily treated roads but that has proven not to be a satisfactory fix for your own personal potential vehicle maintenance costs or the mounting repair costs for city streets. In order to improve the road system in the city and lower your potential personal costs for vehicle maintenance, we are proposing a 1 percent sales tax increase to go into effect September 1, 2014. This increase would cause our sales tax rate to go from 8.5 percent to 9.5 percent
This increase is designed to strictly go towards road maintenance and improvement and for no other costs. With the added revenue the city can pave about 17 miles of road per year for the next 12 years. When that project is done it will be time to start the process all over again and the money will be there to continue on with that project.
We realize that raising taxes is not a popular nor is it something that we take lightly but in order to increase our ability to recruit for both jobs and economic dollars this is a vote that must be taken. Our goal is to inform you as to why this is necessary and how it will be done.
As added information, we did look at cutting the budget to try and generate the funds but in order to shave off that much money, we found it would affect public services that residents depend on for health and safety. The Council has looked at State and Federal funds but there is simply not enough to do what is needed in order to provide the end result the citizens need and expect.
Because this is an increase we have instructed department heads in charge of spending this money to provide a plan that residents can see that will help outline where and how soon this money will be spent. This plan will be developed and shared publicly once an actual final budget is determined based on current street conditions and priority.
The vote for or against the increase will take place the first council meeting in August and we hope that you come to see the final result. Various meetings and town halls are being conducted to get public comment on this issue. Call your local councilperson or mayor if you have any additional questions.

City Council
The City of Alexander City

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