Pelham votes to raise sales tax by one cent

PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Pelham has made the decision to raise the city’s sales tax up to a rate that is even with the cities that surround them.

The council made the decision at a special called meeting Thursday evening.

The vote passed five to none.

As of now, the money is earmarked for education.

Council President Rick Hayes says the city is losing out to other municipalities in the area because their schools have fallen behind in programs and facilities.

The money generated by the raised sales tax will be used to help make the five schools in Pelham competitive with others in the region.

While the decision was unanimous, though, it wasn’t universally liked.

“I think to create a funding stream without a plan, I think just simply raising taxes is unnecessary,” Mayor Gary Waters said.

“Passing the one cent sales tax will allow us to accrue revenue for education,” added Council President Rick Hayes. “We will start accruing somewhere in the range of $4.8 million to $5 million a year.”

The council could vote on forming the city’s own school system sometime in August, but a date has not been set.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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