City discusses delinquent sales tax

During the recent Scottsboro City Council meeting, the issue of delinquent sales tax was once again discussed. The Council previously discussed the issue in November. At that time, according to a public records request submitted by The Clarion, there were nine businesses currently operating in the City of Scottsboro, who were delinquent in sales tax remittance and had been so for more than 30 days. The top business on the delinquent list owed $58,253.62 while the lowest past due amount owed was $1,300.90. The Council since discovered that most businesses who were delinquent had either remitted the taxes or made arrangements to bring their remittances up to date. However, one local business has not.

Council President Richard Bailey spoke to Mayor Jim McCamy and stated, “We have all struggled with the issue of business licenses and sales taxes being delinquent. As a council, trying to make the right decision is not to hurt businesses, but to do what’s right for the city. We have ordinances in place to handle this. We recently found out that the same business, who is the farthest behind (on sales tax remittance), is also operating without a business license. With that being said, we’d like to ask the Mayor to move on this immediately and follow the ordinances the City has on file to start ticketing such individuals until we can get this taken care of. Also, as you see in your packet, the very last page of the ordinances includes the procedure for revoking or refusing a new license or renewing an existing license. This ordinance calls for a hearing. We’d like for you to reach out to this individual and have them at the March 18 work session to go over any evidence that they have to support why they are not paying their taxes and are operating without a business license.”

Council member Mike Ashburn questioned, “If the said individual does not show at that time, is that when the fines would start?”

City Attorney Stephen Kennamer replied, “Immediately. The fines are not to exceed $500 for each offense, and if it’s willful, by imprisonment of up to six months for each offense. They would be ticketed each day they are open separately. On top of that, this business has not been remitting taxes to the state, the county or the city.”

McCamy responded, “These are sales taxes; these are education taxes. That’s very important in this particular case.”

Council member Donna Fredrick stated, “One hundred percent of the county sales tax goes to education.”

During the meeting, the council also approved the appraisal and purchase of property for the airport in the amount of $9,300. Funds will come from the airport account.

The purchase of sports equipment for the Recreation Department was approved in the amount of $25,500. The equipment includes, temporary fences for baseball/softball in the amount of $10,000, portable mounds for baseball fields in the amount of $12,000 and wind screens for the tennis courts in the amount of $3,500. The issue of protective netting at Bynum was not mentioned.

An exclusive (handicapped) piece of playground equipment was approved in the amount of $80,000. These funds will come from the ARPA fund.

A request in the amount of $40,000 was approved for the downtown redevelopment project. These funds will be used to purchase a building. Stipulations on the funding include that if the group sells the property, the sale has to be approved by the council. Also, once sold, the group will have to repay the city the amount of $40,000.


by Heather Dohring

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