Commission poised to pass sales tax

Published 1:02 pm Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Covington County Commission is expected to take action on a proposed half-cent, countywide sales tax for education when it meets on Tuesday.

The meeting is slated for 9 a.m. in the county administration building, 260 Hillcrest Drive, Andalusia.

The proposed tax has been rumored for months, but members of the Covington County Board of Education officially asked commissioners for the hike earlier this month. If approved, the tax would generate approximately $2.1 million per year. By state law, that money must be dispersed to all of the county’s school systems proportionately, based upon enrollment.

Four of the five Covington County Commission members attended the board of education meeting on Sept. 5, when the board made the official request. Commission Chairman Greg White, Kenneth Northey, Tony Holmes, and Kyle Adams all indicated they would support the measure. Commissioner Joe Barton was not at the meeting.

White said one concern the commission has is that Opp already collects a 10 percent sales tax on goods sold there (4 percent for the state; 2 percent for the county; and 4 percent for the city.)

School board members did not say exactly how they plan to use the funds, although Superintendent Shannon Driver said he is worried the system may lose federal dollars in the future.

If approved as proposed, the new tax would generate approximately $1 million for the county school system; $598,000 for Andalusia City Schools; and approximately $462,000 for Opp City Schools.

The commission agenda also indicates the members will consider a proposed 2017-18 budget, but a notice of the meeting said a budget workshop will immediately follow the official meeting.