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City-wide survey planned on tax issues

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle's City Council is banking on a mail-out to get a better response on plans to increase its coffers.
Mayor Clif Knight said a survey would soon go out to all Hartselle Utility customers within city limits, asking their opinion on a property or sales tax increase. Residents will also be asked what they feel are the city's greatest needs.
The survey is similar to one given out several months ago at a public hearing on a proposed 10-mill property tax increase. That survey showed the majority of those attending the meeting were not in favor of a tax increase. However, some city council members said they felt those numbers were skewed because most attending the public hearing were there to protest a proposed landfill expansion.
"We're trying this in hopes of getting a better response," Knight said. "Until we hear more, the capital improvement plan is in limbo."
City leaders are pushing a $29 million capital improvement plan, which includes money for road construction, drainage improvements and school projects.
Another option to a property tax would be a 1-cent sales tax increase. Unlike a property tax increase, the council could raise the sales tax without a vote of the people.
Receiving the greater response won't come cheaply, however. The mail-out, which will be included in HU bills, will cost the city between $3,000-$6,000.
The city will pay for the return postage.
Knight said the council has not decided when the survey will be sent.

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