Madison city leaders to discuss proposed sales tax hike - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Madison city leaders to discuss proposed sales tax hike

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MADISON, AL (WAFF) -

Madison city officials are considering a higher sales tax. A town hall meeting will take place Tuesday night so they can hear from the public about the proposed increase that would take the current tax from 8.5 percent to 9 percent.

"Other cities that are at 9 percent sales tax include Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, Athens, and Decatur," said Councilman Tim Holcombe.  "Huntsville is presently at 8 percent."

Holcombe said if the sales tax jumps, it could help pay for much needed improvements in the city limits.

"City council has formulated a capital improvement plan that includes some $60-million worth of improvements to our roads and infrastructure," he said.  "There's a new library addition, a new fire station, numerous roads and bridge work.  A lot of stuff we need to do for the long term viability over the next seven years of our city."

Before any work can be done, city workers want to hear from the public.  Holcombe said the higher sales tax would impact the 45,000 people who live in the city and those who shop in it.

Madison city residents had mixed opinions on the proposed sales tax increase.

"If it helps the economy, I think it's fine," said Becky Kelsey.  "If it's going to help the city of Madison, I'm all for it.  Hopefully, it will help them improve the roads; they are terrible."

Pam Smith said she wants the sales tax to stay right where it is.

"It's just going to make it harder on everyone else," she said.  "I understand we have to pay taxes, but with a low economy and the way it is nowadays, we just need to keep it where it's at."

Holcombe said city officials are only taking public input on the issue at this time.  The council has not voted on enacting the higher sales tax.

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