City opts out of new state tax tribunal

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Troy City Council approved a resolution allowing the city to opt out of the jurisdiction of the Alabama Tax Tribunal and began discussion of the FY 2015 budget on Tuesday.

Effective October 1, 2014, the newly created Alabama Tax Tribunal will hear appeals of tax matters from the Department of Revenue as well as from certain participating counties and cities. The Tribunal replaces the Administrative Law Division and the Administrative Law Judge within the Department of Revenue. The Tribunal is separate and independent from the Department of Revenue.

Council President Johnny Witherington said the bill allows municipalities to opt out and divest the ATT of jurisdiction.

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“This would have jurisdiction over our municipality,” Witherington said. “In order to opt out, as suggested by our municipal attorney and city clerk we must pass resolution accordingly.”

Witherington said he was confident that the city had quality staff that could handle tax matters without the ATT.

“So far as I know there has never been an appeal on a assessment or refund in recent history,” Witherington said. “If such does happen, we have competent people on staff to handle that. I don’t like the word ‘tribunal’ anyhow.”

The City Council and Mayor Jason Reeves also began discussion of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins October 1. Reeves said sales tax revenues have increased.

“Our sales tax revenue will go up over 3 percent,” Reeves said. “We expect this because of summer travel, our July, August and September numbers usually trend positively. That is also because of the weather — those are large utility months.”

Reeves said the total revenue and expenditures are in the range of $60 million.He also said there will be an increase in health insurance and retirement costs in relation to city employees.

In other business, the council:

• Approved a resolution allowing the City of Troy to sign on a joint purchasing agreement with Pike County Communications District/ E911 board for future purchases of additional computer aided drafting equipment for use by the Troy Fire and Rescue and law enforcement personnel.

• Approved a contract with the Pike County Cattlemen’s Foundation at the cost of $9,600 annually which gives the city authorization to install a outdoor billboard on their property.

• Approved a bid award to the company Greensweep to perform maintenance and clearing around utility lines. The bid award is $79.10 per hour for a 40 hour work week, which equals approximately $300,000 per year.

• Approved a bid award to Tool Smith of $47,901.84 for purchasing a hydraulic power unit to be used by the water department. It will be mounted on an existing vehicle for doing repair work on waterlines.

•Approved a bid award to Osmose for wood pole inspection for $33.2 per pole. They inspect about 1,000 polls per year .

• Approved a bid award of $19,483.68 to Ken Kox Ford for a half ton utility truck to be used by the utilities department.

• Declared September Childhood Cancer Awareness month.