Valley Grande receives bonus money in alcohol sales tax

Published 8:55pm Tuesday, April 16, 2013

VALLEY GRANDE — After noticing a miscalculation in their fund allotments, the state finance department has given the city of Valley Grande a share of the state’s alcohol sales tax totaling in $92,000. Valley Grade Mayor Wayne Labbe said receiving this money was a complete surprise.

“It’s our city’s share of the earnings of the Alabama Trust Fund for the fiscal year,” Labbe explained. “Last year was the first year we even got this — it’s based on alcohol sales taxes throughout the state.”

Last year, Valley Grande received $36,000 from the tax. However, Labbe said he believes after auditing past tax allotments, the state found that Valley Grande didn’t receive all the funds they were supposed to.

“What they did was go back and look at fiscal years 2003 through 2007 and added that to our distribution,” Labbe said. “I don’t know if they had the right numbers before, but this is their way, I think, of saying they messed up.”

With this unexpected surplus of funds, Labbe said the council plans to add lights to the city’s baseball fields along with bleachers and an updated concession stand. The money can only go towards capital improvements in the city, he said.

“Our goal is to get these fields to where we can have outside people come in and play tournaments here,” Labbe said. “That’s our goal — to make it a first class operation.”

With leftover funds — which the council expects to have — Labbe said the city will be able to allocate more money to update the sewer system, which is currently being bid on.

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