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Letson bills pass, await Riley's signature

MONTGOMERY — Two bills affecting Lawrence County cleared the Legislature on Tuesday afternoon and need only Gov. Bob Riley's signature to become law.

Rep. Jody Letson sponsored both measures. One will set up an economic development authority to administer TVA in-lieu-of-taxes money that comes to the county from the state.

The other law will lower sales tax on new cars purchased in Lawrence County.

The TVA bill ran into hot water earlier in the session when county officials charged that the bill set up a slush fund for Letson, D-Hillsboro, and Sens. Roger Bedford, D-Russellville, and Zeb Little, D-Cullman.

Letson later amended the bill to delete a provision that earmarked set percentages of new TVA money that comes to the county as a result of a bill passed in 2006.

He said local officials did not like this provision, which they said gave lawmakers control of the money.

In 2006, the 3 percent increase in TVA funds for Lawrence County amounted to about $85,000.

In Letson's other bill, sales tax on new cars bought in the county would go to 1 percent from 1.5 percent.

The reduction would save buyers about $150 on each $30,000 vehicle.

- M.J. Ellington

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