Auburn, Opelika to vote on proposed sales tax increases

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) – Political pressure is mounting in Auburn and Opelika as city council members prepare to vote either yes or no to raising city sales tax by one percent.

If approved, the increase will take the tax in both cities from 8 to 9 percent; slightly higher than the state average.

Eddie Smith, president of Opelika's city council, says he supports raising the sales tax and will be voting yes on Tuesday night.

Smith also says yes, he does worry about raising taxes in a tight economy.

"We have to do the right thing and we have to get the high school fixed. We can't stand by and let it be a safety issue. Because something is going to happen and then folks are going to be asking why didn't we do something about it," said Smith.

In Auburn, City Manager Charlie Duggan says raising the sales tax by one percent, would raise $7 million each year.

The money would be earmarked to build a new elementary school, buy land for a new high school, and finish the Auburn Tech Park and road improvement projects.

Duggan says if the increase does not pass, those projects go away and city leaders will still have to cut 3 million from the future budget.

News Leader Nine will let you know how that vote goes as soon as the news is announced.

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