Relationship between county and city grows

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Raising taxes can be an unwelcome thing, but for residents of Pike County, the 4 percent increase in the county’s Lodging Tax will likely not hit their wallets; however, the increase represents something greater for the county as a whole.

The tax, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Robert Bentley, brings hope for the county’s General Fund budget as well as shines light on the working relationship between Troy city officials and Pike County officials. Officials with both governments worked together to reach a consensus on how tax revenues would be allocated before the bill was entered by local lawmakers, a critical step in its passing.

The county’s most recent attempts to increase the lodging tax fell short in years past, but after commissioners were told the tax increase would not be passed onto lawmakers until the county and city had come together to agree on the increase, they were able to reach a compromise.

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No one has provided a clear estimate of exactly how much revenue the county’s 2 percent share of the additional lodging tax will generate, but county officials are already not only eager for the increase in revenues but have a to-do list a mile wide.

The county currently has several issues in need of dire attention, and the funding from the lodging tax could help: Pike County Jail’s roof is leaking; county roads are riddled with potholes after years of wear-and-tear; the general fund is stretching at both ends to meet the county’s ever growing needs as new issues are brought up regularly.

More than anything, the compromises, discussions and overall agreement reached by city and county officials together show how well government can work.

County and city officials have agreed that working together for the better good of the residents of Pike County is ultimately the duty and obligation of an elected official and the passing of the lodging tax increase is a solid example of city and county governing bodies coming together to work as one.