The tax will go into effect Nov. 1.
Although both the safety building and the school system have been named benefactors of the tax, a set percentage of who gets what was not set. There was a push by many supporting the school system, including a formal resolution by members of the Jacksonville Board of Education, to get the council to amend the ordinance to split the tax 50/50. But the council voted the tax in without the set percentages, wanting to wait until the full costs of the public safety building are finalized.
Funds from the tax will first go into the general fund .Mayor Johnny Smith says that they will then be placed into a separate account and from there the city can do with the funds as it wishes.
The one-cent addition means every purchase in Jacksonville will now be taxed at 10 a percent rate. The state takes four percent, the county takes one percent and now the city will take five percent. Smith said that this is comparable to other areas. Piedmont, Anniston and Gadsden are all at 9 percent sales tax, while Oxford is at 10 percent.
Smith added that it is always a fear that rising taxes will hurt area businesses, but he believes the gas prices will keep shoppers in town.
During the discussion in the weeks that lead up to Monday night’s vote, some hoped that the tax could eventually be removed, but Smith said that the tax is most likely here to stay.
“I would be real surprised if it ever came off,” said Smith. “We are looking at a building that will take 25 years to pay for, so it is not going to be a short-term thing. And 25 years from now who knows what the situation may be. I will not anticipate it coming off.
A discussion was also held about where to build the new safety complex, but no decision was made.