Piedmont shoppers will soon see a 1-cent sales tax increase. At Tuesday night’s meeting, the city council agreed that the tax increase, which was passed last month, will formally go into effect on January 1st of 2015, following a pair of 4-2 votes on the sales tax and use ordinances. Council Members Brenda Spears and Frank Cobb voted “No” on the ordinance, while Council Member Mary Bramblett was absent.
Once the tax takes effect, shoppers will see an increase from 9 to 10 cents on every dollar spent. The 1-cent increase, which is expected to generate about $350,000 annually, is one measure to help cover the shortfall in the recently passed $5.2 million budget.
In other business, at the recommendation of acting Police Chief Freddie Norton, the council approved the purchase of a prescription drug drop box to be used for Piedmont’s Drug Take Back Day. The secure box will come at a cost of $695 to be taken from the crime prevention fund. Residents will be able to drop off prescription medication that they are no longer using, which may help prevent drug abuse.
Following a motion from Council Member Cobb, the council agreed to exempt council members from the benefits of any action taken by the council regarding the potential health insurance rate increase. Citing a potential ethics violation, Cobb felt that any changes should only go into effect with the start of the next council’s term.
Bills for payment were approved in the amount of $212,025.68 in addition to a payroll amount of $125,014.77 for a total of $337040.45, with Council Member Spears abstaining.
Also, properties on Church Street and 5th Avenue were declared a public nuisance in the next step toward abatement.
Mayor Bill Baker read a proclamation, declaring November 2nd through the 8th as National HOSA Week for participating students at Piedmont High School.
The next regular Piedmont City Council Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 18th, at 6 pm.