Orrville keeps hope tax bill will be passed

Published 6:12 pm Saturday, January 11, 2014

ORRVILLE — State Rep. Darrio Melton (D-Selma) will be reintroducing legislation in the upcoming legislative session that would allow the town of Orrville to once again receive a portion of the beer tax collected from the sale of beer within it’s corporate limits.

The town has been denied that revenue due to legislation act passed in 1995 that made it illegal for Orrville to collect a beer tax, a tax they had been collecting since 1994.

“We greatly need them,” Orrville Mayor Louvenia Lumpkin said “Hopefully it will pass and we will get those taxes restored back to the town of Orrville.”

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Lumpkin said the town clerk brought to her attention in November 2012 that an audit showed Orrville would no longer receive those taxes. She was informed that the checks they had been receiving from Dallas County since the 1995 amendment were unauthorized.

“We found out through an auditor’s report that we could not give that money to the town of Orrville,” Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard said. “It was illegal under state law. We wanted them to receive the money. We still do.”

Lumpkin said not having the revenue they normally receive from the beer tax has affected the town greatly. She said that the sales tax brought in $10,000 to $12,000 annually to the town.

“The town of Orrville is so small. We don’t get a lot of sales tax,” Lumpkin said. “There is a lot of improvement that we need to do in Orrville. Without those sales taxes, it limits us on our improvement.”

Ballard said Melton had plans to get the legislation passed in a session last year, but for whatever reason was not able to do so. He said that Melton would reintroduce the legislation when the Legislature begins next week.

“I’m pretty confident that Rep. Melton will be able to get a bill passed that will allow us to start sending Orrville their portion of the sales taxes,” Ballard said.