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Story Archives: Council adds taxes to ballot
|Council adds taxes to ballot|
At Tuesday's monthly meeting, Winnsboro City Council members voted to add a half-cent sales tax and a 2 percent hotel/motel room tax to the Nov. 4 ballot in a special election. Council members Sonny Dumas, Rex McCarthy, Richard Mahoney, Craig Gill and Betty Johnson voted unanimously to add the items to the ballot.
The half-cent sales tax could generate between $500,000 and $600,000 for the city.
"This will be for the purpose of general operating expenses of the town," said Mayor Jack Hammons. "We have not had a tax rate increase in 40 years and times have caught up with us."
The hotel/motel room tax could create some $25,000 per year and those funds would go to the operation of the Winnsboro Community Center.
"This is something done all over the state," said Hammons of the room tax. "We need this to offset some of the expenses of the community center."
In another matter regarding the community center, the council okay'd an ordinance stating the city would abide by the terms and conditions related to the issuance of $200,000 in bonds to fund the community center.
Through tight management and good investments, the city of Winnsboro ended up with an extra $34,000 for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2008, resulting in the city council amending the budget.
"Overall we did very well and handled the budget well," said Hammons.
Councilman Gill, who was elected mayor pro-tem earlier in the meeting, voted against adding an agenda item to hire a new police officer because he had not met the candidate.
Earlier this year the council decided that members of the police committee would meet candidates and reveiw their credentials prior to voting to hire them. Gill and Johnson are on the police committee.
"Am I the only one here who did not meet him?" Gill asked when it appeared that most of the council members had met the candidate.
The motion to add the item passed and the council – with Gill voting to abstain – gave police chief Lester Thomas the okay to hire the new officer.
"The reason I voted to abstain is because we did not follow the protocol established for hiring police officers," Gill said after the meeting. "It has nothing to do with the candidate. How it was done is what I oppose."
In other council action:
• Hammons gave a brief report on the status of grants the city has applied for.
• Charged off $31.83 in uncollected taxes.
• Adopted a resolution to abide by regulations related to a Louisiana Community Development Block Grant.
• Agreed to proceed with condemnation of dilapidated structures within the city limits.
• Heard a report by police chief Lester Thomas.
• No fire report was given due to fire chief Truman Welch having surgery.