Alabama House sends tax amendment to state ballot
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama: The Alabama House of Representatives passed a Senate proposal that would help alleviate an ongoing tax dispute in Blount County, sending the measure to the ballot for voters to decide. The measure was passed on March 24, 2010 and will appear on the ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. In December 2009, the Warrior City Council voted to pass a 1.5% sales tax increase for its police jurisdiction, a jurisdiction that extends to part of Blount County. However, residents have boycotted Warrior city businesses to protest the tax. The boycott has since hurt several businesses. County residents have stated that the city unfairly taxes citizens, and also that residents should not have to pay for police services when patrolling police cars are allegedly rarely seen.
Senator Scott Beason sponsored the amendment, stating that a statewide vote will hopefully settle the dispute. According to Beason: "It's really trying to address the issue and not have a similar problem in the future. It's not anything against anyone. I just hope we'll have it solved and everything will go back to normal, I hope."
According to resident Jane Harris, a statewide vote is unnecessary for a local issue. Harris stated, "I think it's ridiculous. I think if it doesn't affect you, then I don't see the point in everyone voting on it." However, according to resident Ron Sanford, when commenting on city implemented taxes "If it passes through whole state, then other cities can do it. So if you look at it that way, then it is a good thing to have the whole state vote on it."