Landmark Legislation Proposed to Transform Tuscaloosa County
April 13, 2015
The legislation combines the temporary one-cent sales tax and the existing two-cent county-wide sales tax to establish a stable three-cent county-wide sales tax. With the one-cent temporary sales tax created by the Tuscaloosa County Commission expiring June 1, 2016, this legislation creates a stable three cent county-wide sales tax that funds education, transportation, local government services and local healthcare without raising existing taxes.
The framework creating this historic opportunity has been the result of a yearlong effort of discussions with elected officials representing local governments and school systems in Tuscaloosa County, as well as local business and community leaders.
For the Tuscaloosa County School System and the Tuscaloosa City School System, the proposed legislation provides a stable funding source to meet future needs and to fund critical academic programs.
Presently, both school systems receive a share of the temporary sales tax that was enacted in 2001 by the Tuscaloosa County Commission. Of that temporary one-cent sales tax, 85 percent must be spent on capital needs. In addition to the benefit of having long term stability in funding, the proposed legislation provides school systems discretion for operational and capital investments. The legislative delegation has worked with both Boards of Education, and in particular, their chairmen in crafting this landmark legislation that meets their needs now and into the future.
For Tuscaloosa County's highway infrastructure, the time had long since passed to upgrade, modernize and expand local roads. The proposed legislation sets in place the funding mechanism to complete more than $225 million in highway improvements and expansions in the next five to 10 years across the Tuscaloosa community.
In addition, the passage of the proposed legislation will likely enhance opportunities to partner with the Alabama Department of Transportation to further leverage local and state funding.
Tuscaloosa County Legislative Delegation Chairman Representative Bill Poole stated, "Our community has a long and storied history of working together, especially when the stakes are high. I am extremely proud of the collaborative effort that has led to this proposal. We have a unique window of opportunity to address our schools and infrastructure. I am proud that we are working to seize it. This proposed legislation reflects the work of so many across a broad spectrum. By passing this legislation, we can elevate Tuscaloosa County significantly without raising taxes."
“This creates a modern framework for using tax dollars where they are most needed: to improve our roads and fund our schools, without raising taxes,” added Senator Gerald Allen.
A video series with Mayor Walter Maddox explaining the landmark legislation: Part 3