One Cent Sales Tax Increase Sparks Controversy in Marion

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By George McDonald

From the West Alabama Newsroom--   A one-cent sales tax increase in Marion that went into effect at the beginning of the month -- has sparked calls for the city council and the mayor to step down.

The city council voted unanimously to raise the sales tax from nine cents to ten cents on the dollar -- back in July.

A group of business owners threatened a recall of city elected officials during  a city council meeting Monday night -- if the tax increase wasn't repealed.
  
Mayor Tony Long says the city needs the money the increase will generate to help try and balance the budget.

"The city did what they had to do to keep the city afloat. The city is running about 200-thousand dollars a year in the red and you just cannot operate like that," said Long.

Long says the tax hike will generate about 110-thousand dollars a year for the general fund.

Denise Timms is the manager at Jim's Little Store on Washington Street in downtown Marion.

"We should have had a public meeting and been told the state of the town, you know, what finances were," said Timms. "Then I don't think all the businesses would have been opposed to the rise in sales tax."

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