Florala sales tax on hold ‘til 2015

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2014

A planned sales tax increase in Florala won’t be implemented before Jan. 1, 2015.

When the city council last month approved a $1.4 million budget for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, council members said they would have to implement a new sales tax to make the budget work. As approved, the budget accounted for having the additional revenue beginning in November,

However, municipal ordinances require two readings before they can be approved. With the ordinance only officially introduced last night, it won’t be approved until The Oct. 27 meeting. Once approved, the city’s sales tax collection agency must be notified 45 days in advance, so it can in turn notify merchants.

Mayor Robert Williamson said, “I don’t think anybody on the council would be in favor of this if there was another option to take care of city business. But we are paying 2014 bills on 1994 revenue, and we’ve come to a point that it is difficult to do so.

At present, Florala collects 2 percent sales taxes. The proposed ordinance would raise the city sales tax to 3 percent, a move that was expected to generate $193,000 in the 2015 fiscal year.

Because the implementation is being delaying, the council also amended its budget accordingly. The delay is expected to mean $30,000 less for city coffers this year, and that money was moved from the capital outlay fund.

The council also:

• adopted a resolution honoring Paul Adams, who died last month. He was the assistant police chief.