Lee County Tax Increase Heading To Legislature

The Lee County Commission is preparing its wish list for the upcoming Alabama Legislature. Commissioners met with state representatives and senators Monday afternoon. One item they're looking at is an equalization tax.

Auburn, Opelika and Phenix City pay eight percent in sales tax, while the unincorporated areas of Lee County pay seven percent. The county will ask for a one percent increase, generating an extra $1.3 million.

"These monies would be used to supplement our school resource officers and provide monies for recreation. We don't have a specific percentage developed at this time, but we will have it developed by the time we have the bill drafted," said Johnny Lawrence, District 2 commissioner.

Commissioners will also ask the Legislature to increase court costs by $50, excluding small claims cases. The Lee County Sheriff's Office is moving into the new jail in May, leaving empty space in the justice center. The extra court costs will create more than $704,000 to renovate the center.

The equalization tax can be enacted by the Legislature, or it can be voted on by Lee County residents. It's not known at this time how it will be presented.