Wetumpka Considering Sales Tax Increase
The Wetumpka City Council listened to concerns over a newly proposed sales tax increase.
Some people say they are against it.
“I am on a very fixed income,” said resident Barbara Sims. “All my money goes to paying my power bills and buying my medicine and things like that. I don’t think it would do senior citizens very much good.”
Mayor Jerry Willis says a one percent sales tax increase will help meet the needs of the city without having to cut services.
“Hey, nobody likes taxes. We don’t like taxes. But when our auditors come to us for the past two years and give the final report and say ‘you can’t keep laying people off, Mayor,'” said Willis.
Willis says it will help them catch up with other cities in the River Region while taking care of their own employees.
“A one cent sales tax increase will generate us one million dollars. Two million dollars would give us the opportunity to take care of our employees, get them where they need to be. They haven’t had a pay increase in over five years,” said Willis.
Business owner Frank Bertarelli says he just hopes the city council will spend it wisely.
“All the businesses in Wetumpka did get hit with a business license increase over the last two years and that was supposed to off set some of this stuff, which it has done a good job. But I go back to what I said tonight. I directed to each city councilman, be good stewards of our money because they make the final decision, not the mayor,” said Bertarelli.
Right now, Wetumpka has a rate of 8 percent sales tax– the lowest in the River Region.
This was the first reading of the amendment of the sales tax ordinance.
Residents will get more chances to voice their concerns in the future.