Missing beer tax money found

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

The town of Valley Grande almost got a brief boost to its budget after beer taxes to the tune of $51,175.86 was collected on its behalf by mistake.

During the Dallas County Commission meeting Monday afternoon, Nancy Wilson, financial director, first revealed the error. At that time, Commissioner Roy Moore had advised that County Attorney John Kelly III address Bama Budweiser about the misdirected money.

Ultimately, he said the responsibility to collect and correct the error would be on Bama Budweiser.

The town of Valley Grande outsources its sales tax collection through a company called Alatax.

Dallas County also uses this company for collecting its sales and gasoline taxes, according to Wilson.

Beer taxes, however, must be remitted directly to the county.

“It was just a complete misunderstanding on everybody’s part. The ball is rolling to get the money back to the county,” she said.

In essence, what happened was Alatax had probably approached the Bama Budweiser about sales tax and was cut a check for beer taxes instead. Wilson stressed that it wasn’t an attempt by Valley Grande officials to try and usurp taxes not belonging to them, but that the whole incident was just a mistake.

The only municipality in Dallas County with the authority to collect beer taxes is the city of Selma. It still must pass a portion of the taxes (27.7 percent) on to the county. By state law, all other incorporated and unincorporated areas pay 100 percent of beer taxes to the county.

For a city to claim these tax monies, it would have to introduce a bill to the state legislature and wait for lawmakers to decide.