TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Tuscaloosa’s Mayor is asking you to pay more in sales tax to fund a plan he says will transform the city more into the 21st century.
Mayor Walt Maddox laying out a big vision Tuesday to transform Tuscaloosa into a more technology driven city. That plan called "Elevate Tuscaloosa" calls for a one-cent sales tax increase that the mayor says will generate $250 million over the next 10 years for 19 projects including an events center, basketball complex and expanding PreK.
"This is not about where we are. We can continue where we are. That's not an issue but if we want to elevate our city. If we want to be competitive in this 21st century technology driven environment, We have to change the way we think about the economy,” Maddox said.
The plan also calls for the expansion of mass transit as well as $15 million to help renovate the Tuscaloosa airport. The mayor says “Elevate Tuscaloosa” is a citywide project about opportunity, jobs and the future. "It’s about my son Eli and my daughter Taylor, building a Tuscaloosa where they can get a high quality education..where they can go find a quality job,” Maddox said.
But some on the city council have a lot of questions right now
"I’m looking at it is it balanced? Is there one area of the city that seems to be favored over all the other districts? I’m going to depend heavily on the people who elected me to see how the winds blowing,” Kip Tyner, a Tuscaloosa City Councilman said.
Mayor Maddox is also wanting to work with the legislature to exempt the city from paying grocery taxes "So that we can mitigate the amount of the sales tax increase especially in those working hard in the city of Tuscaloosa,” Maddox added.
We’re told the grocery tax could be the deciding factor for some on the council when it comes to the on the “Elevate Tuscaloosa” plan.
City council could vote on the mayor’s proposal in the coming weeks.
Additional details are available on the City of Tuscaloosa’s Facebook page or at the Elevate Tuscaloosa website.