By Denise DuBois
Smiths Station City Council will host a Town Hall Meeting April 16 at 6 p.m. ET at the Smiths Station Ruritan Community Center, 2000 Lee Road 430. The topic of discussion will be a 5 mil property tax for city residents.
Currently, the city assesses no mil tax on property. The only revenue for the city is from sales tax and business license fees, Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland said. But the city is growing and there are needs.
“We are pursuing the tax,” he said. “We’re going to earmark it for sewage, which the majority of our city does not have.
“The other part is for professional services – to hire a certified building inspector and for public works. We have to pursue something in order for us to handle the growth we’re experiencing now. Sewage is the number one issue.”
The tax will actually be voted on April 24 during the city council meeting.
If approved by the council, the tax could bring in a projected $150,000 to $200,000 for the city. A 5 mil tax is .005 of $1.
According to the Alabama Code, the state legislature allows cities to levy a 5 mil tax without a vote of the people. The tax has to be voted on by council each year in order for it to renew. More of a tax cannot be added to the 5 mils without a vote of the citizens.
Copeland said that 50 new houses are being built currently in the city and new businesses are moving in. The city has to be able to provide services in order to more forward, he said. This tax, if approved, will help.
The tax would only affect those in the city limits. It’s based on the assessed value of the property. The Town Hall Meeting will help answer questions from the community and better inform citizens of what the tax will be used for.