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County to start collecting new sales tax in June

By By JOHN DILMORE JR. Publisher
A three percent sales tax to be levied in the unincorporated areas of Escambia County will be collected starting in June.
The way was cleared for collecting the new tax when the measure was recently approved by the State Legislature, and signed by Gov. Bob Riley.
The county hopes to raise $800,000 with the new tax, money that will be put toward road and bridge repair, as well as funding for the county's volunteer fire departments.
The three percent hike will take effect in the county's totally unincorporated areas.
There will be a 1.5 percent increase in areas immediately outside municipalities -- areas not inside the city limits, but within the cities' police jurisdiction.
The three percent and 1.5 percent tax increases will not apply to goods sold inside Brewton, East Brewton, Flomaton or Atmore. In the places where the increases do apply, the new taxes will only be levied on general merchandise.
This does not apply to automobiles or agricultural machinery.
The county commission voted unanimously Monday to request that the Alabama Department of Revenue begin collecting the tax on the county's behalf beginning June 1.
In other action Monday, the commission announced that $431,400 worth of federal funding has been made available for a project to widen and resurface County Road 1, also known as Jack Springs Road, in the Atmore area.
A letter about the funds from the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to the commission praises the commission and Representative Greg Albritton for bringing the need for the project to light.
In other action Monday, the commission: