Public gets say on tax proposal
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
A plan to increase Hartselle's property tax is on its way to Montgomery. But even if it clears that hurdle, the tax increase may face a rocky future if those who spoke at Tuesday night's public hearing are any indication.
Hartselle's City Council voted 5-1 to send the matter to the Legislature, even though members of the local legislative delegation said they won't support the request if the vote asking for the referendum wasn't unanimous.
Councilman Alvin Aber-crombie voted against the resolution, saying he didn't support any additional taxes at this time.
The plan calls for a 10-mill increase to property taxes, with 7 mills going to the city and 3 mills set aside for the school system.
City officials hope to hold the referendum Aug. 24 to coincide with municipal elections.
Those speaking at the public hearing said they were already taxed too much and while some agreed the city needed more money, they didn't feel a property tax was the best option.
"I don't pretend to know what the people of Hartselle want, but I know what they don't want – new taxes," resident Emmitt Reader said.
Richard White agreed.
"No way am I going to support a 10-mill increase," he said. "We really don't know where the money is going."
Concerns were also raised about a plan by Sen. Gerald Dial, D-Lineville, to raise state property taxes by 10 mills.
Several on the council said they, too, have mixed feelings about the tax, but said they supported giving the people the right to vote on the matter.
"We are all paying taxes that we didn't have any say so (on)," Councilman Frank Jones said. "We don't have any say so on a sales tax. I personally feel any time a tax is placed…you should have a say so."