Huntsville sales tax increase goes into effect Saturday - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Huntsville sales tax increase goes into effect Saturday

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Money generated by the sales tax increase goes to help fund major area road projects. Money generated by the sales tax increase goes to help fund major area road projects.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Get ready to start paying more taxes this Saturday when shopping in Huntsville.

The one-cent sales tax increase will take effect Saturday, March 1. That money will be used to match state funds for road projects throughout Huntsville.

In December, the city council approved the tax increase. The money raised will help fund $125 million worth of road projects the city needs.

The state has said they will match that amount for a total of $250 million. Mayor Battle has pointed several major road projects that will be funded through this increase.

What this really means for you is that starting Saturday, you will pay nine cents on every dollar you spend in Huntsville on sales tax. In return, you will get better roads and hopefully a smoother commute.

Businesses in the city have been alerted twice about the effective date. If a business does not make the necessary change, they are still on the hook for the money. Over at What's Popp'n off Airport Road, that change is easy to implement.

Popcorn shop owner Lisa Jackman said she's excited about the new tax rate because of the money it will produce for new road projects. The increase will only affect prices at her shop by a few cents per purchase, and she does not expect to see a drop in customers due to the increase.

She said that a decade ago, shifting numbers to include the new tax rate would have been a hassle, but with today's technology all she has to do is plug in the new numbers into her computer's finance program.

Jackman said she expects no issues, especially because of the city's prompt alert. "I did get an email from the state last night and I did realize that's coming up. It didn't dawn on me that March 1 is Saturday!"

City leaders said they are already ahead of schedule, with six of the road projects already in the design phase.

Construction starts in May in the Highway 72 and Maysville/Shields Road area. The construction of five other road projects, including working on both North and South Memorial Parkway, will start in the next 24 months.

Expanding Highway 72 to six lanes from Providence to County Line Road will also start during that time period. Three other projects are funded and planned to start in 2017.

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