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E.B. sales tax to rise by 1 cent

Council: Increase effective Nov. 1

Residents will soon pay 10-cents in sales tax on every dollar spent in East Brewton.

A one-cent sales tax increase will go into effect Nov. 1, and revenue generated by the increase will go to the city’s general fund, said Mayor Terry Clark.

Clark was recently re-elected to his sixth term as East Brewton’s mayor. He and fellow councilmen recently passed a $1.6 million budget, which also included a 5 percent cost of living adjustment for the city’s estimated 30 employees.

Clark cited increase costs in city operations such as insurance and gasoline for the needed increase.

“Everyone knows that everything has increased in cost,” Clark said. “What we are trying to do by passing this very slight sales tax increase is try to keep the costs to our citizens as low as possible. We felt that the fairest tax to increase was sales tax. This way everyone pays their fair share based on what they buy.”

Clark said the city recently changed its insurance plan because of the staggering premium cost not only to the city but also to its employees.

“The employees voted to change plans,” he said. “We couldn’t absorb the insurance increase, and we couldn’t ask our employees to do it either. So, they voted to change the plan.”

Clark said city employees haven’t received a raise in more than two years.

“Just like our costs as a city rise, so does that for our employees,” he said. “We felt it was only fair to reward them for their hard work for our city.”

Clark said the city continues to recruit new industry.

“We’d love to bring a new fast food restaurant to East Brewton,” he said. “We have some of the largest traffic counts around with (Highways) 29 and 87 and Ridge Road coming through. It would make a perfect location for a Wendy’s or a Hardee’s, and we’re trying our best to get something to call East Brewton ‘home.’”