‘Use tax’ will add to city coffers

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 28, 2001

Staff Writer

Feb. 27, 2001 10 PM

The city of Troy now has a "sales and use" tax, but residents don’t need to be alarmed; their tax burden will not be increased.

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Tuesday night, the Troy City Council took action to make the change from collecting "gross receipts" in an effort to get money that is slipping away.

Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said the action taken by the council will "levelize the playing field" of businesses here and in other cities.

"I’m pleased we passed it,"

Lunsford said, adding the main reason the city starting looking into the matter was because of Internet sales.

Making the change to "sales and use" will put the city in a position to collect taxes on Internet purchases if Congress lifts its moratorium.

Until yesterday’s decision, city only had a sales tax, meaning it has not been reaping the benefits of purchases made outside of the city limits. By establishing a "sales and use" tax the city would be able to recoup some of its losses.

Troy was one of only 44 municipalities ­ and one county ­ for which the state collects sales taxes and not "sales and use" taxes.

Municipalities closest to Troy’s size, which do not have "sales and use," include Clanton and Saraland.

The change will become effective May 1.

In other business, the council:

· Entered into an agreement with the Alabama Department of Transportation Seventh Division regarding pedestrian safety improvements.

Under the agreement, the state will work on 20 crosswalk sites in the city limits at a cost of $580,000 ­ 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent state funds.

Work on the following sites should begin in 30 to 60 days: George Wallace Drive $ Charles Henderson High School, Gibbs Street and Elm Street at Charles Henderson Middle School, Gibbs Street at Troy Place Apartments, Elm Street at the school, Gibbs Street at Troy Pike Center for Technology, Gibbs Street at Troy Elementary School, Gibbs Street at Aster, U.S. 29 North at Gibbs Street, Gibbs Street at Henderson Street, Academy Street at Elm Street, Elm Street at George Wallace Drive, Park Street at University Avenue McKinley Drive at College Drive, Madison Street at South Brundidge Street, South Three Notch Street at Montgomery Street, North Three Notch Street at Murphree Street, U.S. 29 at Fairview, U.S. 29 at Knox Street, Luther Drive at Troy State University and U.S. 231 at Pike Liberal Arts School.

· Accepted a $8,960 bid from Mount Scrap Metal of Montgomery for a recycling baler.

· Passed a resolution designating Troy and Troy State University as the state’s official site for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration.

· Was told funds for safety improvements at the airport are well underway and a fencing project may be bid in the next few weeks, Lunsford said.

The Mayor has received "numerous letters" from businesses fearful of using the Troy Municipal Airport after the accident involving a Lear Jet and two deer on the runway. Another similar accident has occurred and at least one pilot has had to take action to scare deer off the runway before landing, Lunsford said.