Troy could see extra #036;250,000

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 11, 2001

Staff Writer

Feb. 10, 2001 10 PM

Troy and Brundidge officials are looking at making a change in the collection of some taxes.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

That change could translate into more money.

When the two-cent sales tax was established years ago, it was set to be a "gross receipts," rather than "sales and use," meaning purchases made elsewhere and delivered here reap no benefits for the city of Troy.

And, it’s the same story for the city of Brundidge, so officials are working to make a change.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford recently asked City Clerk Alton Starling to talk to the Alabama Department of Revenue about what making that change would entail and the impact it might have.

The mayor said many municipalities have a "sales and use" tax and the Alabama League of Municipalities is making a push for everyone to be on common ground.

Starling said Troy is in the 25 percentile of municipalities which do not have a "sales and use" tax.

"I think it’s something we definitely should consider," Lunsford said.

He said sales tax collections for 2000 were about $83,000, which is "not very much" and the Department of Revenue estimates $250,000 could be generated if Troy goes to a "sales and use" tax.

Briefly, the change would allow the city to collect two cents on every dollar spent somewhere else. For example, if someone goes to Montgomery to purchase a bedroom suite and has it delivered to their home in Troy, their hometown would be able to benefit from the sales and use tax.

As it stands now, the state collects its four cents, the county gets one cent on each dollar and Troy gets nothing.

If Congress lifts its moratorium on taxation of Internet purchases, Troy could even benefit more, Lunsford said.

"We need to position ourselves to benefit," Lunsford said, adding the change would "put local merchants on a level playing ground" with companies elsewhere.

"That’s the number one driving force, for me," Lunsford said of Internet sales, adding sales taxes are what pays for such things as police and fire protection.

Council member Charles Meeks agrees.

"If we don’t do something, we’re going to be hurting," Meeks said.

Brundidge is working with Troy officials to make the same considerations and City Manager Britt Thomas is working with Starling to gather information about making a change to "sales and use" so they can reap the benefits of products purchased outside of the city limits.