Ozark Tax Increase

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The cost of living is increasing and many businesses are raising prices accordingly. In the Wiregrass, one city is especially feeling the pinch.

Ozark's police department is facing a major issue of losing officers to other cities and finding very few to replace them.

"A lot of agencies in the state of Alabama are recruiting certified police officers and they offer a better package than we can make available right now," said Deputy Chief Eddie Henderson.

So an idea for a solution is to increase sales tax by one percent.

According to Ozark Mayor Bob Bunting, the extra money will be used to resurface streets, update city equipment and help make the city's hiring process a little more competitive.

In the city's hiring process, the money would go toward higher pay, a sign-on bonus and a better benefits package.

"The city of Ozark is a business and we have run out of choices of bringing revenue into the community and we must do something about it," said Mayor Bunting.

Right now, Ozark and surrounding cities pay eight percent sales tax.

The mayor's idea is to raise it to nine percent and he hopes the cities surrounding Ozark will consider doing the same. At this point, raising the sales tax is simply an idea.

Before any decisions are made, he plans to propose the idea to the city council this fall. If approved, the increase will not go into effect until 2007.