Alabama City/County Tax Amendment, Amendment 4 (2010)

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The Alabama City/County Tax Amendment, also known as Amendment 4, was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of Alabama as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.Defeatedd The amendment would have settled a sales tax dispute that had plagued the city of Warrior, Alabama, located in Jefferson County, Alabama. During the month of December 2009, the Warrior City Council voted to pass a 1.5% sales tax increase for its police jurisdiction, a jurisdiction that extended to part of Blount County. However, residents boycotted Warrior city businesses to protest the tax. The boycott had hurt several businesses. County residents stated that the city unfairly taxed citizens, and also that residents should not have had to pay for police services when patrolling police cars were allegedly rarely seen.[1][2]

Senator Scott Beason sponsored the amendment, stating that a statewide vote would have settled 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, the statewide vote was unnecessary for a local issue. Harris argued, "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."

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results

Official results of the measure follow:

Amendment 4 (City/County Tax)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No474,86750.4%
Yes 468,164 49.6%

Results via the Alabama Secretary of State

Text of amendment

Ballot title

The ballot title that voters saw on their ballots read:[3]

"Relating to Blount County, proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, to prohibit any municipality not located entirely in Blount County from imposing any municipal ordinance or regulation, including, but not limited to any tax, zoning, planning, or sanitation regulations, and any inspection service in its police jurisdiction located in Blount County and to provide that a municipality prohibited from imposing any tax or regulation under this amendment shall not provide any regulatory function or police or fire protection services in its police jurisdiction located in Blount County, other than public safety mutual aid."

"Yes ( ) No ( )."

Summary

The summary of the proposed amendment read:[3]

Proposing a local constitutional amendment to the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, relating to Blount County, to prohibit any municipality not located entirely in Blount County from imposing any municipal ordinance or regulation, including, but not limited to, any tax, zoning, planning, or sanitation regulations, and any inspection service in its police jurisdiction located in Blount County; and to provide that a municipality prohibited from imposing any tax or regulation under this amendment shall not provide any regulatory function or police or fire protection services in its police jurisdiction located in Blount County, other than public safety mutual aid.

Support

There was no known supporting campaign for Amendment 4.

Opposition

There was no known opposing campaign for Amendment 4.

Media endorsements

See also: Endorsements of Alabama ballot measures, 2010

Opposition

  • The Birmingham News published an editorial on October 27, 2010 saying that each amendment on the ballot in 2010 should be rejected by voters. The editorial by the publication stated, "This year, there is no compelling amendment requiring a "yes" vote. Instead, the four statewide and 33 local amendments on the ballot remind us of the 1901 constitution's biggest flaw. The lack of self-government, or home rule, hamstrings local governments. Blame the constitution's drafters, who didn't trust the people or local governments. That forces county commissions and city councils to seek the Legislature's blessing on amendments that let them do what the constitution prohibits."[4]
  • The Dekalb County Times-Journal was against the measure, stating, "This deals strictly with Blount County. It has no impact on DeKalb County, and local voters should allow Blount County voters to decide issues that deal with their county."[5]

Path to the ballot

Taxes on the ballot in 2010
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The Alabama House of Representatives passed the Senate proposal on March 24, 2010, sending the measure to the ballot for voters to decide. Article XVIII of the Alabama Constitution says that it takes a three-fifths (60%) vote of the Alabama State Legislature to qualify an amendment for the ballot.[1]

See also

External links

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References