Montgomery City Council Approves 1% Occupational Tax
The approval of a 1% occupational tax ordinance passed the Montgomery City Council by a vote of 5-3 Tuesday night.
The city council decided to move forward with that vote– which would require anyone who works within the city limits of Montgomery to pay that occupational tax.
“We have to invest in our neighborhoods, we have to invest in public transportation,” Mayor Steven Reed said.
City councilmen Glen Pruitt says money generated from the tax would go towards increasing salaries for first responders and sanitation workers.
But not everyone is for it.
“We would urge you not to vote for this occupational tax,” one opponent said.
“I feel like you are pushing this thing through and imposing your will on us without getting our feedback,” another opponent said.
The vote comes as a senate committee voted 8-2 earlier Tuesday in favor of a bill that would require Alabama’s cities to ask permission from state lawmakers before enacting occupational taxes.
Reed joined other major Alabama city mayors in opposing the bill.
“We felt it was an overreach. We felt like this was a violation of home rule and local elected officials being able to respond to their citizens the best,” Reed said.
“Well, we were put in a bad position to begin with with state legislators having no thought of passing an occupational tax, and when they dropped the bill, we didn’t have a choice,” Pruitt said.
Currently there are more than twenty other Alabama cities that use occupational taxes.
“We want talk to the public. We want make sure that our citizens know it was not a vote tax, it was a vote for independence for our local government so that we could have home rule,” Reed said.
Pruitt says this ordinance wouldn’t go into effect until at least 2021. The tax increase could generate somewhere between 45 to 55 million dollars…