Hoover city council approves sales tax increase

HOOVER, Ala (WIAT) -- Hoover residents and visitors to the city will soon be hit with a tax increase.

Tuesday night, the Hoover city council voted on a sales tax increase and an increase in lodging and hotel.

The sales tax was as approved by a 4-3 vote and will go up from 3% to 3.5%.

The renting/leasing real estate tax was not approved.

"We're back and we're going to be even better," said Mayor Frank Brocato. 

The sales tax was almost tabled until the new budget was approved in a few months, but the majority of the council decided to act now. 

"I voted yes because I know in my heart there is a need. Will I sleep better? Probably not for a little while because I made decisions I wish I didn't have to make," said Gene Smith, city council president. 

"I thought the timing of the vote was really unfortunate. You can't vote on tax increase without looking at expenses first. Bad timing," said councilman John Lyda who voted against all the tax increases.

A big topic when discussing the sales tax was the needs from the fire and police department. 

"I think we're the best and to stay the best we have to do things we normally do. We had restrictions placed on us this past and I hope with this additional funding we'll get back to where we want to be," said Nick Derzis, Hoover police chief. 

Although additional money wasn't guaranteed to them, Mayor Frank Brocato said  he takes all of this seriously. 

"This isn't giving us an open checkbook. We want to continue to be good stewards of money," said Brocato. 

"As we go in new budget hearing coming up, it'll be more important than ever because there is a likelihood we'll have to do adjustments," said President Smith. 

The sales tax is suppose to generate about $11-12 million a year.

Mayor Brocato  said this money will help fills the holes in the budget and go towards general funds such as sidewalks, roads, parks, etc.  

The sales tax goes in effect October 1, during the next budget year, and the lodging hotel $2 per day increase starts January 1.

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