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1-cent sales tax hearings planned

By Scott Mims

Beginning Thursday, the Chilton County Commission will conduct weekly public hearings in different areas of the county to find out how citizens feel about a proposed 1-cent sales tax increase.

The purpose of the hearings is to gather input from the public and formulate a plan based on the feedback. Later, the commission will formally present a plan outlining how the tax money would be used.

If the hearings go well, the commission plans to request a countywide referendum. The vote would likely take place in 2012, unless a special election were held.

“We just want to know how people feel about the possibility of an additional 1-cent sales tax to be voted on by the entire community,” said Commissioner Red Turnipseed, who is in charge of organizing the hearings.

The first hearing will be Thursday, July 29 at the Jemison Municipal Complex at 6 p.m. Additional hearings are set for Thursday, Aug. 5 at the Chilton County Courthouse and Thursday, Aug. 12 at the Maplesville Library, both at 6 p.m.

Turnipseed said he is in the process of securing a meeting place for a hearing in South Chilton County.

“There may be other hearings,” he said.

All seven commissioners and Chilton County Engineer Tony Wearren have been asked to attend. Other county officials may also be present.

The floor will be open to anyone who wishes to provide constructive comments dealing with whether they are for or against the proposed tax increase, and reasons why.

“We’re looking for a large turnout,” Turnipseed said. “We encourage everyone to come out and express their wishes and desires about this tax.”

The times, dates and locations of future hearings will be announced as the information becomes available.