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.
Although Mayor Thomas released his findings on Tuesday for how the money generated from the sales tax will be issued, that could 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 dollars, 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" says Mayor Thomas.
To address those needs, for starters, Mayor Thomas has proposed at least $3 million dollars go into a bigger, better water supply until 2009.
Following closely behind, a more attractive Dothan City School system, 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," says District 5 Commissioner Taylor Barbaree.
However, 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, and things like that. We can't up the machines half a cent so it's going to have to go up 10 times, meaning starting January 1st. We'll have to up our vending machines a nickel," says Thad McCullough.
Even though some of the money has been proposed for District 1, Commissioner Larry Matthews says there is a much bigger picture. "I thought it was a burden on the lower to middle income," he says.
The list isn't official. There will be two public hearings scheduled for November 14th and 21st at the Dothan Opera House.
Both of those meetings begin at 6PM.
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