Cent sales tax issue could simply go away
Because most of the new people at City Hall ran on rolling back the controversial penny sales tax of 2001, the issue is going to be around for some time. So is the tax.
The budget that City Council is yet to adopt shows the futility in shaving even a quarter percent from the tax.
The proposed budget is still $2.4 million over last year's figures. The controversial tax brings in $7.5 million. Thus, if Mayor Don Kyle succeeds in getting the budget down to last year's revenue and the City Council drops the tax, the city still will be in a multi million-dollar hole.
Perhaps the mayor hit on a theme that will resonate with voters and may take some of the sting out of the tax staying in place. In the past, he said, the city — meaning the mayor and council that left office in October — paid more attention to spending money than to watching expenses.
That's usual political rhetoric, but Decatur residents believe that's the case and is a major factor in why so many new faces are at City Hall.
The new council and mayor must continue to talk about eliminating the tax while convincing the public they are good stewards of tax dollars.
Changing the attitude about City Hall may cause the sentiment against the tax to ebb.