Pell City Council to vote on sales tax increase Monday

PELL CITY, AL (WBRC) - At their Thursday work session, the Pell City City Council took one final look at a proposal to increase the city's sales tax.

The council will vote next week.  A 1-cent hike would increase the sales tax from 9 to 10 percent, and has prompted some strong reactions from residents.

Pell City Mayor Bill Hereford said if the ordinance passes, it would bring 2 million dollars of extra revenue a year to the city.

For the first 4 years, half of the money would go to schools, the other half to the city.

"I'm behind it, because it will pay our bills," said Mayor Hereford, "We have to have adequate income to pay our bills. We've incurred 20 million in debt, we need to pay that debt."

Over the last few weeks, the city hosted public hearings, where big crowds of residents came out to express their opinions on the issue.

Supporters said it would help bring a financial boost to schools and the city.

"I actually think it will be good for the city," said Tamara Adams, "Just because money is going to schools. If it is helping schools, I'm for it."

Some business owners said they oppose it because they are worried it will drive customers away from local stores.  Also, it is coming at a time when people are already struggling financially.

"We can't afford to have more taxes put on us right now," said DeLain Vaughan, "It is bad time.  We are burdened so bad trying to buy groceries or whatever."

The council is expected to vote on the sales tax increase at their meeting on Monday.  If it passes, it will go into effect in 60 days.