MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mayor Jones said the one-cent sales tax can save the city from financial ruin. Mobilians stopped paying a temporary one-cent sales tax increase in September, but the mayor said that tax ended too soon, and without a boost, the city could take a real hit.
Mobile Mayor Sam Jones said 2013 looks dark for the Port City.
"We think it's a very critical period if we do nothing," said Mayor Jones.
According to figures from his office, the mayor said Mobile faces a drastic reduction in revenue and will have a $25 million shortfall. Jones said making up the difference would not be pretty.
The mayor predicts cuts to the police department, the closure of fire stations and impacts to city services. Big tourism draws would be hurt too, like Bayfest and the Senior Bowl.
"All of those things require overtime for public safety. We wouldn't be able to afford that, so those programs would be affected," Jones said.
Jones wants to kick in a one-cent sales tax increase in January. He said there were other options, like increasing garbage fees or business license taxes, but no other option would provide the stable amount of income the penny tax would bring.
"It is certainly not our desire to have to do this. I would certainly hope that we wouldn't have to do any of this," said Jones.
In his proposal, the one-cent sales tax would stay in effect until Mobile reaches eight percent unemployment and stays that way for a year. After that, the city can decide when to remove it. Currently, Mobile's unemployment rate sits at 10.5 percent.
"We don't know when that will happen because it depends on the national economy," said Jones.
In 2010, the city council approved a temporary one-cent sales tax hike that ended this September. Jones said the city council chose to end it too soon. He said if it lasted longer, 2013 wouldn't look as bad, so Jones hopes a return of the penny tax can help the city again.
Jones will meet with city council members at a finance committee meeting next Tuesday, and he wants to hear from you too. There will be a series of town hall meetings to address the issue.
The first will be held at Gilliard Elementary on December 5 at 6:30 p.m.
The Annual Fairhope Christmas Parade was held Friday night and the warm weather did not stop the atmosphere from feeling like Christmas.
Prichard Police have launched several new initiatives in the wake of 3 bold business break-ins along Wilson Avenue this week.
Federal authorities say an Alabama man has been charged in a slaying at an Army post in southeast Georgia, but officials are releasing few details about the case.
Rain chances increase tonight, followed by much colder weather for Saturday...
Officials said new hotels may be coming to Foley in the near future and will help the progress of the city's planned multi-use facility as well as the Blue Collar Country entertainment complex.
According to Davidson County authorities, bar owner Christopher Michael Ferrell surrendered himself a short time ago on a Davidson County Grand Jury indictment, charging him with second-degree murder for the November 23 shooting death of …