Concerned citizen reacts to City Council vote of no tax increase in city

Published 5:42 pm Thursday, August 30, 2018

Selma business owner Alan Jones reacted to the rejection of the City Council’s gas tax and sales tax proposals by Selma Mayor Darrio Melton on Tuesday.

Jones spoke during the Citizen’s portion of the City Council meeting at City Hall and outlined his reasons. The gas tax in the city is currently 0.04 cents and 0.02 cents in the county, bringing it to a total of 0.06 cents.

“You would put a large burden on the City of Selma, the citizens and it would be a further loss of revenue,” Jones said. “With the gas tax, the city and county currently have, there’s 16 to 20 trucks that deliver fuel here. They are delivering everyday.”

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Jones, who owns Mr. Roy’s Convenience stores in Selma, gave the reason for the city’s slumping revenue.

“You want to know why the revenue is down? The sales tax is flat,” Jones said. “If you’re not checking up behind the people, the sales tax and gas aren’t getting paid. If you want to know what they’re doing, have someone check it.”

Jones recommended the city council hire someone from the Alabama Department of Revenue, not the Revenue Discovery System.

“RDS has never stepped a foot in my store,” Jones said. “They’re a collection agency. A person from the ADR looks for sales tax and gas tax.”

The city council was impressed with Jones’ presentation.

“We know what you’re saying because the dollars don’t match,” Councilwoman Angela Benjamin said. “Gas tax and sales tax has been on the agenda forever. We need to collect what belongs to us. We get a lot of complaints at council meetings, not a lot of problem solving.”

City council President Corey Bowie sent a letter to Melton for him to speak with the City tax office.