Hoover Council cuts mayor’s sales tax hike proposal in half

HOOVER – Following a proposal from Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato for a 1-cent sales tax increase to avoid future budget deficits and fund construction projects, the City Council countered with a measure that would raise the city’s sales tax by half a cent.

The first readings of ordinances adjusting the city’s sales and use, hotel/motel, tangible personal property and real estate rental/lease taxes were held at the Council’s June 18 meeting.

City Council President Gene Smith said the Council arrived at the ordinances after “challenging” discussions.

If approved, the ordinances would yield additional revenues of about $13 million a year for the city.

Projections determined Hoover needed about $11 million more a year to avoid budget deficits as expenses outpace revenues.

Brocato’s proposal would have produced an additional $22 million more a year.

Though the sales and use tax increase is the most significant proposed, the Council’s resolutions include other increases proposed by the mayor, including raising the lodging tax from 3 percent to 6 percent, and the rental/lease tax from 1 percent to 2 percent.

Brocato initially asked for the Council to take action on the taxes at its July 2 meeting, but Smith announced on June 18 that a special called meeting would be held on July 10 for final consideration of the measures.

The Council wanted to avoid any potential conflicts with the July 2 meeting falling on the week of a holiday, Smith said and encouraged residents to share their opinions during both upcoming meetings.