MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Mobile's budget has garnered a lot of attention and Tuesday it could be put to rest.
The Mobile City Council is expected to vote on whether to raise the sales tax to fund what the Mayor says is a multi-million dollar deficit.
Two weeks from today a new fiscal year begins in Mobile.
Mayor Sam Jones said the city is facing a multi-million deficit in 2013.
He's proposed a sales tax increase to fill the gap, with no sunset.
Jones said the tax might not be permanent.
"If sometime in future, we see as a result of the economy there is no need, we can always roll that back. The council has the authority to do that," said Jones.
Reinstating a sales tax increase hasn't fared well in the past with the council.
The tax increase needs five votes to pass, and so far it doesn't look like it will have that much support.
Right now, three council members, Bess Rich, John Williams and Gina Gregory, are against raising the sales tax, which means it would fail.
Bess Rich wrote in a statement on the budget:
"I would like to request the Administration to come up with a budget plan that realistically projects no deficit in 2013 without seeking addition taxation from citizens…" she went on to write residents have already contributed $24 million the first time the tax was approved.
Rich would like to see the issue put in a referendum and voted on by citizens.
There are council members who support the tax increase.
Jermain Burrell and Fred Richardson believe it is needed to move the city forward with economic development.
Council president Reggie Copeland said he supports the tax based on findings from an audit committee.
Council member William Carroll said the city can manage with the money it has, but there will be nothing left over.
The mayor's budget is separate from the tax increase, and it only needs four votes to pass.
Barbara Drummond with the mayor's office said if the city council does not approve a budget by September 20, the city will work off of the current budget.
Drummond said a budget must be approved by September 20 and to take effect October 1.
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