MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile Mayor Sam Jones has made no secret that he supports increasing the city's sales tax.
Mayor Jones submitted a proposed amendment to the sales tax ordinance to the city council Tuesday.
Before passing out a proposed amendment to the city's sales tax, Jones asked the council to do two things: read it with an open mind and schedule a finance committee meeting ASAP.
Mayor Jones is proposing bringing the penny back, but this time it's tied to the economy.
The mayor's budget recommendation is available for viewing here.
"Last time, we proposed for 27 months, but city council decided with 16 months. Now, we are right back where we started from. We think we have to do it until there is an economic indicator and for us, that is the unemployment rate," said Jones.
Here's what the mayor is proposing - a penny increase as long as the unemployment rate sits at six percent or higher.
It will drop to half a penny when the unemployment rate drops to five percent or less. Once it stable at five percent or less, for a year it goes away.
For the past two years, Mobile's unemployment rate has sat at more than 10 percent.
Mayor Jones has said in the past, outcry over a penny is political and that you, the public, don't have a problem handing one over.
We wanted to know if this is how you think.
"I'd rather see where they were curtailing spending. I don't mind giving the penny, but want to know it is going for something that is worthy," said Ellen Stewart.
David Ragland said, "Find other ways because we don't have it."
The mayor said even with furloughs, cutting out all performance contracts, and cutting department funding another 10 percent; the city would still be $11.6 million in the hole.
Council member Jermaine Burrell supports the penny sales tax.
Burrell said, "The future of the city is worth more than a penny. I support the penny tax, and I support a better Mobile."
Burrell also supported Jones' idea that had the penny tax been approved the first time around to run for 27 months, the city would not be in this situation.
"Frankly, had the council stuck with the 27 months, we would not be exposing our city, employees and citizens to the uncertainty we are witnessing today," wrote Burrell in his community letter.
Council members John Williams, Gina Gregory and Bess Rich have spoken out against the penny tax.
Waking up to a chilly morning! Temperatures will be a little warmer this afternoon than what we saw on Thursday, we'll also see our winds shift from northerly to southerly with clouds increasing.
The Mobile Jaycees have announced the members of the 2014-15 Azalea Trail Court.
Nick Fawal and Tara McMeans are in the Studio10 Kitchen making Shrimp filled with crab meat stuffing and wrapped in bacon which is then baked to perfection.
FOX10 News has learned William "Eddie" Patrick, captain of Mobile's First police precinct, has been demoted following an internal investigation.
Pastor of Lifeway Community Church Mike McPherson says thieves stole presents that would have been given to needy children.
A man who bought a bicycle three weeks ago finds out it was originally stolen, according to the original owner who reported it missing in October.