Guntersville mayor, pharmacist at odds over state business licen - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Guntersville mayor, pharmacist at odds over state business license bill

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

Alabama lawmakers are looking at how your local pharmacy is taxed. It could reduce revenue for cities, which means a possible impact on services where you live.

Some cities don't like the bill because it takes money from them.

One Guntersville pharmacist says cities shouldn't balance their budgets on the back of his business.

"Prescriptions are not taxed in Alabama. We think this is kind of a backdoor way to tax prescriptions in a way through the business license," said Guntersville pharmacist Buddy Bunch.

Bunch supports the bill that takes prescriptions off the list in calculating the gross receipts for a business license. He said he's being taxed on what a pharmaceutical company charges, which is a lot more than what he makes selling the drug.

"The cost of drugs have gone up so much recently, but the reimbursement has not gone up," he said.

But city officials see it differently.

"Because it would take funding away from our general fund and we use that to provide services to citizens to business," said Guntersville Mayor Leigh Dollar.

Bunch said the law would essentially tax his business for a license on everything he sells but pharmaceuticals.

But Dollar said if lawmakers make this move it will start a slippery slope.

"What industry is going to be next? And you know it takes the power away from the municipality to make their own decisions about revenue," said Dollar.

The city is looking at passing a resolution opposing the bill at Monday night’s council meeting.

Bunch said the bill has passed the Senate and is expected to go for a House vote later this week.

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