Business owners question possible fees discrepancy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

Notice of a proposed business license tax hike has created a stir among local business owners and a seeming discrepancy in the amount of those fees is raising red flags.

Selma City Council President George Evans announced Wednesday the council plans to address the issue prior to the council’s meeting Monday at city hall.

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Evans and Mayor James Perkins Jr. said the increase is the result of action taken by Alabama Legislature.

According to its Web site, the Business Council of Alabama is a non-profit organization that lobbies the Alabama Legislature in Montgomery and in Washington, D.C., on issues it feels are important to its membership.

Business owners say they are confused as to why the hike is occurring, and the amount they will be paying for taxes the coming year, which some business owners say is overly aggressive. They also say they are getting mixed signals from city hall.

Buddy Swift of Swift Drug Co. said the city’s license commission office notified him that his taxes would go up 38 percent.

He was later contacted by the same office and was told the increase would be 7 percent.

Swift, and Jim Truax of Butler Truax Jewelers, who says his business license fees would also skyrocket, plan to attend the Nov. 26 council meeting to gain clarity on the issue.

Truax will also be addressing the council as a representative of the Selma/ Dallas County Chamber of Commerce as the organization has heard similar concerns on the issue from the business community it represents.