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Sales tax introduced in state house

The local bill to allow an additional 1-cent sales tax in Marengo County was finally introduced Tuesday by State Rep. Bobby Singleton of Greensboro, and it received it’s “First Reading.”

Once the bill is introduced it goes to a house committee, according to Greg Pappas, clerk of the state House of Representatives. “Since it is a local bill,” Pappas said, “it will go to ‘local legislation.’ Singleton signs that bill out of local legislation, and it’s reported to the full body. That’s called its ‘second reading.’ On the next legislative day it’s eligible for passage. It will come up as an uncontested local bill.”

The bill is then sent to the state Senate, Pappas said. “It has to go to committee up there and be reported out on another legislative day and then can be voted on (the next) legislative day. It takes a minimum of five legislative days to pass a bill. If it’s an uncontested bill it’s probably going to pass.”

It will likely take three weeks before Gov. Bob Riley signs it into law.

After the governor’s signature and once the Marengo County Commission passes a resolution, the law will be turned over to the AlaTax service. AlaTax will have to give county businesses 30 days notice.

The tax is expected to generate more than $1.5 million annually.

The three county school systems, Demopolis City, Marengo County and Linden City, will share 17 percent of the revenue generated each year by the sales tax increase.

Another 17 percent of the sales tax revenue is expected to go to Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital. The amount the hospital will receive will be based on the mediation of a suit brought against the county by the Tombigbee Healthcare Authority.

Another 16.5 percent of the revenue from the sales tax will be divided among eight municipalities: Demopolis, Linden, Thomaston, Providence, Sweet Water, Myrtlewood, Faunsdale and Dayton.

One-and-one half percent will be distributed to the volunteer fire departments and rescue squads.

It is expected that 48 percent of the proposed sales tax revenue will go into the county general fund to possibly be used for renovation of the courthouse, road improvement and other needs.