Athens leaders concerned about sequestration effects

ATHENS, AL (WAFF) - The sequestration deadline is Friday. If lawmakers cannot make a deal by March 1, the automatic spending cuts will begin.

Athens leaders are looking closely at how it will affect the city. The biggest concern there is sales tax revenue.

The military-based economy would take the biggest hit.

Mayor Ronnie Marks said many Athens residents work for defense contractors. If they are laid off or have their hours cut, the city could lose some sales tax money.

"It has a direct effect on going to the retail stores, on whether you can drive your car another 50,000 miles, or whether you need a new one. All of this trickles down," said Marks.

He said there is also some concern about the loss of federal grant opportunities used to help the Athens police and fire departments.

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