Clanton joins opposition to SB31/HB58

Published 12:02 pm Tuesday, April 11, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The Clanton City Council approved a resolution in opposition of Alabama Senate Bill 31/ House Bill 58 during an April 10 meeting.

The bill proposes making prescription drugs that are already exempt from gross sales tax “be exempt from the calculation of gross receipts for any business license tax based on gross receipts.”

The Clanton resolution in opposition, encouraged by the Alabama League of Municipalities, states, “Revenue collected from business license fees provides a crucial role in funding the increasing costs of providing essential services” and exempting the prescription drug sales would impact the city’s general fund.

Clanton’s resolution further states that such a change would not decrease the cost to the consumer and would “serve only to increase profit of large pharmacies with minimal impact on smaller pharmacies.”

The resolution was approved unanimously, without discussion.

Council member Mary Mell Smith brought the resolution up for discussion. In an interview after the meeting, Smith said the Alabama League of Municipalities studies proposed bills and impacts that passage would have on cities across the state.

“The League thinks it’s important that these bills not be passed,” Smith said.

Passing the resolution is a way to stand in agreement with the League and other cities that may choose to pass similar resolutions, while notifying the state legislature how local leaders feel about the proposed legislation.

The City Council also approved Police Chief J.D. Maddox moving forward with advertising two full-time positions. Maddox said the department was probably a few months as away from actually being able to hire additional personnel, but this was the first step in the process.

Mayor Billy Joe Driver asked if there were any part-time employees that would want to become full-time. Maddox said most of the part-time personnel are full-time with the county.

Three positions for the city parks were also approved.

Chilton County Commissioner Joseph Parnell addressed the council to give clarification on fishing at the industrial park. He emphasized that fishing was not permitted at the spot, and the county commission had not changed that.

“We have not taken any action and will not until we talk to the industrial development board and you all,” Parnell said.

He asked that the that city council discuss possibilities of opening the pond at the industrial park to fishing opportunities.

Parnell said he would like to see everyone come to an agreement, possibly allowing one day fishing licenses for the lake “as a source of revenue.”

Possibilities were not discussed by city council members during the meeting.