Archived Story

Too many questions, not enough answers

Published 9:30am Friday, August 8, 2014

Dear Editor:

The more research I do on the sales tax issue the more questions I have. I know the council is favoring a one half-cent increase, but this is what I don’t understand.  The whole new penny to be added will raise approximately 2.3 million dollars. The last sales tax increase was a penny added when the Sportplex was established, of which the Sportplex gets 75 percent, approximately $90,000 a month, and the schools get 25 percent,  approximately $30,000 a month. This is approximately $1.44 million annually.

Why does this penny not generate $2.3 million like the new penny? Where does the other million dollars go? I do know this – Alexander City is living way beyond its means. The Sportplex loses approximately $1.3 million dollars annually. The Golf course loses approximately $150,000 annually. The city pays $250 a month per vehicle for blue trackers (GPS monitoring). The city has over a hundred vehicles. That is over $300,000 annually. GPS monitoring is a micro-management tool used by companies who don’t trust their supervisors, or in the city’s case their department heads to supervise employees.  Do away with RDS, the city’s sales tax attack dog. I don’t know how much the city pays this group. Add up all this bleeding plus the $188,000 the city gets on gas tax and you are close to $2 million. That would pave a lot of roads. I still am not seeing any budget cuts. The increased tax is compensation for poor accountability. I run a business and if the city were run as a business we would not need more taxes.

No amount of retail businesses will save Alexander City.  The only thing that will save Alexander City is high paying manufacturing jobs.  Our city Chamber of Commerce wants to stop the retail business we are losing to Lee County. Adding sales tax to retail sales will only drive business to Lee County. I agree wholeheartedly with establishing an entertainment district and Sunday alcohol sale. What are we waiting on?

At the beginning of the sales tax debate the words critical and essential were used. I agree that Alexander City has a critical lack of leadership and it is essential that  Alexander City gain proper leadership before it is too late. Thank you for your time.

Woody Baird 

De Opresso Liber

Alexander City