It's been met with opposition, but the one percent sales tax increase that will take effect in January is something Dothan officials hope to make a better circle city, and even though Mayor Thomas released his findings Tuesday for how the money generated from the sales tax will be issued, that can change.
It was a packed room at Tuesday's Dothan City Commission meeting. One by one Dothan city Mayor Pat Thomas presented what $12 million generated annually for reinvestment in the community really means, especially if it comes from a one percent sales tax increase.
"Remember, we've had nothing set aside every year. This will assure we have a systematic plan so we can address our needs as they come up," said Mayor Thomas.
To address those needs, for starters, Mayor Pat Thomas has proposed at least $3 million go into a bigger better water supply until 2009.
Following closely behind is a more attractive Dothan city school system, and next a high-tech, up-to-date city communications system, a renovated animal shelter, and constant maintenance on city parks.
"It will allow us hopefully to retain businesses," said District 5 Commissioner Taylor Barbaree
But one business owner says retaining a business will be costly for the consumer
"I disagree with it. They ask for half a cent on Coca-Cola, Pepsi, things like that. We can't up the machines half a cent, so it's going to have to go up ten times, meaning starting January 1st we'll have to up our vending machines a nickel," said Thad McCullough
And even though some of the money has been proposed for District 1, Commissioner Larry Matthews says there's a much bigger picture
"I thought it was a burden on the lower to middle income," said District 1 Commissioner Larry Matthews.
This list isn't official. There will be two public hearings scheduled for November 14 and 21 at the Dothan Opera House. Both of those meetings begin at 6 o'clock in the evening.