JeffCo votes against sales tax holiday

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - An effort to give shoppers in Jefferson County a bigger tax break on clothes and school supplies this weekend failed Tuesday.

Tuesday, Jefferson County Commissioner Shelia Smoot proposed a vote on removing the county's one cent sales tax. Commissioners clashed over the vote but eventually rejected it.  

"If you save ten dollars at a Wall Mart or Dollar General that is a big deal," Smoot said. "I think it's a big deal. Maybe folks don't feel that way."

It would have taken a unanimous vote to pass the measure, but the commission voted 3-2 against the proposal.

"It's created some media moments today," said Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins. "And, in my opinion, probably further damaged the county. People don't realize we are talking about one cent on the dollar."

County shoppers still get a break of eight cents out of the 10-cent sales tax. Jefferson County cannot stop the one cent tax going to pay of the billion dollar school construction plan. The other one cent tax goes to the county's general fund, Cooper Greene Mercy Hospital, and the county nursing home. Without that tax, one commissioner said the sales tax holiday could have cost jobs.

"We need to keep people employed and in the county is more in my estimation then giving a sales tax for school supplies." George Bowman, Jefferson Co. Commissioner said.

Shoppers remain divided over keeping the one cent sales tax.

"I don't think it's right. Everybody should do it." Bobbie Bowens said.

"If the county needs it. That is what we should do as shoppers and taxpayers." Amy Allen said.  
The county estimates without the tax the county would lose about $172,000.  

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. Friday and continuing until midnight Sunday, people across the state of Alabama will be able to shop for clothes and school supplies without paying state sales taxes.  In addition, many counties and cities across the state are also participating in the sales tax holiday weekend, allowing shoppers in certain areas of the state to shop tax free.

For details on the sales tax holiday, including counties and cities participating in the holiday and items that will be tax exempt during the holiday, visit:

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