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WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2007
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Lawrence County bills pass in Alabama House

By M.J. Ellington
mjellington@decaturdaily.com
(334) 262-1104

MONTGOMERY — Bills establishing an economic development commission and lowering the tax on new car sales in Lawrence County passed the state House on Tuesday.

Rep. Jody Letson, D-Hillsboro, amended his original bill setting up the economic development commission. With the amendment, Letson said, he removed language that designated set percentages of new Tennessee Valley Authority in-lieu-of-tax revenue for the districts of legislators who represent Lawrence County.

Letson said he made the changes after listening to members of the public who were concerned about the earmarking.

"I am pleased it passed," Letson said.

He said he hopes the county can attract new industry and jobs through the commission.

The bill to reduce new car taxes would lower Lawrence County's sales tax on vehicles from 1.5 percent to 1 percent, something he said the County Commission endorses. The commission raised the rate to 1.5 percent a few years ago during a revenue crunch, but Letson said finances are better now. On a $30,000 vehicle, Letson said, a buyer would save about $150.

Letson said the goal of the tax reduction is to make new car prices in the county more competitive with those in cities in surrounding counties.

Both bills now go to the Senate.

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