September 19, 2012 | LXXII, No. 25

$20 tab issue to get hearing

Electric City citizens will be able to vent their feelings about the city’s plan to charge $20 per license tab for residents within the city limits.

The occasion will be a public hearing on the license tab issue at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at city hall.

Under Senate and House Bill 1858, counties and communities within the state can vote to form a “transportation benefit district” that allows the entity to charge up to $100 per license tab. The $100 tab takes a vote of the people, but the $20 can be charged by just forming the district.

The city council has already agreed to form the district, and now offers the public an opportunity to speak to the issue.

If cities fail to develop the transportation benefit district, then the counties that they are in can do so.

“If the money goes to the county, then it stays there,” Mayor Jerry Sands stated. “If we vote the fund, then the money stays in Electric City.”

Sands explained that before voters changed the way the state sold tabs, the city used to receive a huge financial lift for its street fund each year.

“We had a big reserve, and with the interest rates high on our investments, we could nearly run the city on what we grew,” Sands said.

Now that is no longer the case, and each year the city has seen its street fund diminish, he said.

The city would take in about $25,000 through the license tab provision.

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