Half-cent sales tax approved, council plans to move forwardPublished 11:55am Tuesday, June 25, 2013
By Aldo Amato
MADISON — After over a month of deliberation and public discussion, the Madison City Council approved a half-cent sales tax increase.
The council voted 5-2 in favor of the sales tax hike that is aimed to help benefit the Capital Improvement Project (CIP) and other city plans including renovating roads and expanding the Madison Public Library. Councilman Gerald Clark and Councilman DJ Klein voted against the increase.
Since May, the council were in the discussion phases of the half-cent tax increase with split reaction from the community. Though a good chuck of the increase is aimed to fund Phase II of the CIP which includes restoration and renovations to several areas near the center of Madison, other projects look to benefit from the measure.
“If you want nice things, you’re going to have to pay for it,” Madison City Schools board member David Hergenroeder said back in May.
Hergenroeder was not the only vocal supporter of the proposed measure. Dr. Terri Nelson echoed Hergenroeder when it came to proper funding to bring nice additions to Madison and build revenue.
A number of residents in the audience stood and showed support for the increase after Sarah Sledge with the Madison Public Library spoke during the public comments portion of the meeting.
Though the meeting reflected an overall support of the measure, residents like formal mayoral cannidate Don Palmer expressed concerns and wanted to know why the council wanted to implement the increase shortly after being elected into office.
Others like Mike Callahan supported the measure but wanted to know more details.
“There needs to be more sharing when we develop,” he said. “For instance, why is Old Madison Pike one way into Huntsville in the morning and one way into Madison at night?”
Council members said they looked forward to moving on and compared the increase to the one that helped fund the construction of the new James Clemens High School.
The next meeting will take place July 8.