Ozark Sales Tax Increases by One Cent

By: Alex Zequeira Email
By: Alex Zequeira Email

The City of Ozark is following the lead of Dothan by raising its sales tax rate from eight to nine percent, but the additional money raised will not all go to the city as was first planned.

When the sales tax hike was proposed several weeks ago, all the money that would be raised if the proposal was passed was going to be used to adjust city employee salaries and benefits.

There was also talk about another one cent increase, from which revenue would be allocated toward the school system.

But during a vote taken by city council members Tuesday, the sales tax was only increased by one cent, and everyone is going to have to share it.

Half of that penny will go towards the city's payroll, the other half to pay for the construction of a new high school. The additional penny is expected to generate between $1 and $1.5 million in revenue.

But the city school system will not be able to collect it's half of the additional penny until the beginning of next year, to allow the city to pay its bills and employees.

"It'll be sufficient to pay our employees the increase in their salaries and insurance, what we plan to cover there," said Marylin Tamplin, with the Ozark City Council.

Other sales tax proposals have been discussed during the past several months including one that would raise the tax rate to 9 1/2 percent, but even those who were opposed to "one" penny from the very beginning say they're ok, with the compromise that was reached.

"We absolutely could not afford to go over 9% and be a penny and a half to two pennies higher than everybody else, so we'll find a way to live with this," said Business Owner Dennis Powell.

The tax increase will be implemented on August first.

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