OXFORD — The City Council on Tuesday unanimously voted to oppose identical bills in the Alabama House and Senate that, if passed, could reduce sales tax revenue for the city by nearly $1 million, officials said.
House Bill 110, sponsored by Rep. Roderick Scott, and Senate Bill 130, sponsored by Sen. Trip Pittman, would allow online retailers who open “brick and mortar store fronts” to be exempt from a paying local sales taxes.
Currently, under the Simplified Sellers Use Tax, known as SSUT, only online retailers without storefronts in the state are allowed to skirt that sales tax.
“We stand to lose almost $1 million in sales taxes a year if one of these bills passes,” Oxford City Council President Chris Spurlin said. “We wouldn’t be the only city to lose money in this either.”
Other Alabama cities have also voted to oppose the measures via resolution. Hoover City Council on Monday voted to do so, according to the Shelby County Reporter.Mobile City Council voted on a resolution last week disavowing the bills, claiming the city could lose $15 million a year in revenue, according to a record of the meeting minutes.
“This would be a major hit for us,” Spurlin said.
The council unanimously voted to approve the resolution.
The council also voted to spend $15,000 for land at 518 Central Avenue adjacent to the softball fields near the Oxford Civic Center.
Councilman Mike Henderson said during the meeting that the land was valued at about $48,000.
“We’re getting a pretty good deal there,” he said.
Spurlin said the plan was to save the land for “either another building or extra parking.”
In other business:
The council approved a municipal lien against property at 2100 Douglas Drive for $2,342.28 in abatement costs.
The council scheduled a public hearing for Feb. 13, at the next council meeting, to consider an amendment to the zoning ordinance regarding the flood plain and conservation district.