City of Luverne to participate in state#039;s sales tax holiday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2006

In April of this year, Gov. Bob Riley signed into law legislation that would create Alabama's first statewide sales tax holiday for back-to-school shoppers. It will fall on the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in August of each year and is expected to save Alabama consumers $3.3 million annually.

At Monday evening's regular Luverne City Council meeting, it didn't take long for the council to pass a resolution for the city of Luverne to participate in the sales tax holiday.

&#8220I've been contacted by certain businesses downtown concerning the sales tax holiday,” Luverne Mayor Joe Rex Sport said. &#8220They are highly in favor of it, and I think this would be a good thing to help parents as their children are getting ready to go back to school.”

The three-day sales tax holiday in 2006 will fall on August 4 - 6. It applies to clothing costs up to $100 per item; computers, software and computer supplies costing up to $750 per item; school supplies and textbooks up to $50 per item; and other books up to $30 each.

Twelve other states, including Georgia and Florida, have passed similar sales tax holidays on back-to-school purchases.

In other business, Sport reported to the council that sales tax revenues for the city continued to be up as compared to this same time last year.

&#8220However, expenses are going up, too,” he said. &#8220For the month of April, the city had over $54,000 in fuel adjustment costs in electricity, which is 28.5 percent of the city's total bill. That knocked a hole in our revenues. If this continues, our customers will begin to see additional costs in their electric bill to offset the excessive costs of fuel adjustments.”

&#8220Everything is going up,” Sport added. &#8220It's indicative of what's happening all around us.”

The council also discussed the Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance for city employees. They voted to keep the existing policy for another year; however, the existing plan's rates are going up beginning July 1. A family plan will increase from $734 to $829 a month, and single coverage will increase from $293 to $327 a month.

City engineer Morris Tate reported that the city will soon be digging a new well and will be working on a new sidewalk on West 3rd Street.

Sport added that there had been several mail-ins of the new electricity bill forms from customers, and that the new bill format seemed to be working smoothly for the clerk's office.

Sport also reported that the Luverne Parks and Recreation Department would begin All-Star games June 23. The schedule runs as follows: June 23- 9 & 10-year-old girls will be playing in Luverne; 11 & 12-year-old girls will be playing in Brantley. On June 27- 14-year-old boys- site undetermined; June 30- 7 & 8-year-old girls will play in Andalusia; 9 &10-year-old boys will play in Georgiana; 11-12-year-old boys will play in Luverne; July 1- 15-16-year-old boys will play in Opp; July 7- 7-8-year-old boys will play in Luverne; 13-year-old boys will play in Enterprise.

The Luverne Police Department reported that Luverne Dispatcher Loretta Williamson retired May 29 with 27 years of service for the department.

Beginning June 13, Captain George Johnson will begin to dispatch for the Luverne Police Department at his request.