Sales tax means all would pay
It is apparent that the citizens of Hartselle are going to face a local tax increase. The question is will it be a sales tax, or a property tax. Local business people and I understand why they do not want a sales tax. Homeowners and I understand why they do not want a property tax. The recent sales tax increase in Decatur did not hurt business. Drive by the Colonial Mall and the Super Wal-Mart as two examples, their parking lots are full.
The question should be, which of the two is the fairest tax? Does every citizen when a property tax is imposed pull more dollars out of their pockets? No, citizens of whom rent or reside with family members are exempt from this tax, placing the sole burden of the tax increase on property owners. Does a sales tax affect all citizens? Do they all pay? Certainly it does.
Even with a sales tax, persons of whom shop in Hartselle help fund city services, and the city's master plan. So taxpayers which tax is more fair? Do we want a tax that is only paid by one segment of the population, or one by all segments of the population?
Voice your opinion, and if given the opportunity vote for what you think is fair.
Fire department needs support
At the Hartselle City Council work session, I asked the council to consider a resolution to create a City of Hartselle Fire Department Fund. I asked that this fund be used to build a third fire station on land close to Thompson Road that was donated by Sonoco industries. Our thanks should go out to Sonoco industries for their donation.
Recently, Hartselle lost three residents in the Quail Run apartments fire. Tragic as it was, it inspired me to try to do something about it. After reading an editorial by this paper, (An ounce of prevention), I contemplated as to what I could do to help. My goal was to try to raise a significant amount of money, while trying to make it tax exempt for people to make donations.
I researched this in great depth. In order to not have to form a non profit corporation with bylaws, board of directors, constitution of the corporation, and applying for a tax exempt number for the IRS, the only easy way was to go through the city. The harder way would have taken up to as much as possibly a year.
Hartselle Fire Department has already purchased a mini pumper that the city council made funds available. We are on the verge of purchasing a ladder truck, which would benefit our city greatly. Let's take this a step forward. Let's donate money to this fund to build a third station. Not only would this be a fire safety aspect, it could possibly lower insurance premiums as well, by lowering our ISO fire rating in Hartselle.
As this fund starts to grow, and the nearing of construction begins, I will ask for donations from businesses that can provide construction materials, and individuals for their time to help with the labor. Monetary donations of any size will be greatly appreciated by myself, the city council and the fire department. You can give every year and write this off your taxes every year. It is a very worthy cause, and the need is here right now.
It is time for the entire community to come together and support this. There have been numerous communities that have done this exact thing, and much success has been obtained. We can never be over protected by fire equipment and personnel. The old saying "An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth a Pound Of Cure" is staring us in the face right now. Let's do the right thing and build this fund, therefore showing our united support for our Fire Department. I am sure that Chief Rickey Joe Smith and all his firefighters would love to see your support on this.