City council approves renewing one cent sales tax

Birmingham one cent sales tax passes

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - After some debate, the Birmingham City Council approved renewing a one cent sales tax.

In 2007, Mayor Langford wanted the money to go to funding the police and fire departments along with work in communities such as sidewalks.

The council voted four to one for renewing the tax.

The one cent sales tax was set to expire in December. It will bring in about 32 million dollars a year.

Mayor Randall Woodfin urged the council to pass it saying the money is still needed. The mayor promised to continue to look for ways to run city government efficiently.

Supporters said the tax is still needed to run city government.

"We need that to be utilized for infrastructure needs, paving, potholes, sidewalks, things of that nature. That one cent sales tax hopefully Mayor Woodfin would appropriate towards education," Jay Roberson, Birmingham City Councilman said.

One councilwoman said maybe now it's the time to let the tax die.

"Our business licenses have doubled. We've had major businesses leave Birmingham because of the tax. We are at 10 percent now," Lashunda Scales, Birmingham City Councilwoman said.

The tax is not set aside to help fund the new downtown stadium. The council will vote on how the money is spent in the budget.

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