Selma businesses get a break

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Selma’s businesses have eked by a proposed hike in business license fees.

Monday night, the Selma City Council voted 5-4 to pass over the 7 percent increase in fees and $100 across-the-board permit.

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Voting to keep business licenses the same were council members Curtis Williamson of Ward 1, Reid Cain of Ward 2, Jean T. Martin of Ward 3 and Dr. Geraldine Allen of Ward 4.

Voting against the measure were council members Samuel Rudolph of Ward 5, Johnnie M. Leashore of Ward 6, Bennie Ruth Crenshaw of Ward 7 and Jannie M. Venter of Ward 8.

Council President George Evans supported keeping the fees the same, saying the timing is bad.

Jimmie Nunn, the city’s attorney, told council members that the Legislature had mandated at least nine changes to business license law in 2006, making regulations, such as renewal and notification dates uniform across the state.

Yet, Leashore countered Evans, saying the city needs the extra revenue. &8220;In a society taxes are a way of life,&8221; he said.

Jim Truax of Butler Truax Jewelers and chairman of the Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors had asked on behalf of the business people for the council to reconsider any additional fees.

Truax pointed to sales tax reports that show the city collected $82,150.04 less in October than it did last year.

After most of the business people cleared out, Council member Bennie Ruth Crenshaw said she couldn’t support their position because she didn’t hear from shoppers.