Madison County commissioners said “enough is enough” last week with the nearly three-year debate on the county occupation tax, agreeing to scrap the plan completely.
“I think we need to trash the whole ordinance,” said Commissioner Mike Youngblood, before making a motion to do away with the occupation tax. “I think we’ve wasted time bickering back and forth trying to get this thing ironed out … We’re not getting anything accomplished.”
The commissioners voted 4-1 Monday to trash the plan, with District 1 board member Stanley Thomas providing the lone vote against the measure.
The original occupation tax ordinance was drafted at the end of 2006 and implemented in 2007, but the plan has been amended on numerous occasions. The most recent version of the plan included a $35 flat fee on all businesses in unincorporated areas of the county. The fee would not have applied to agricultural operations.
County commissioners postponed a decision on the proposed ordinance on May 21, agreeing to review the 10-page document. Thomas, who favored keeping the occupation tax, said the proposed $250 to $500 fine for failing to pay the tax seemed too steep. He proposed that the commissioners eliminate the possibility of such steep fines and instead include a 10-percent, $3.50 late fee, and a $20 charge for those who fail to pay the tax at all.
Thomas has supported the occupation tax, noting that it will be a way for county leadership to keep tabs on what businesses are actually in the county, while also providing contractors a form of official licensing.
The occupation tax has been discussed at length at numerous meetings, with debate on whether people with rental property would be required to pay and how business owners with conservation use properties could be affected.
A number of people protested the tax, saying it was an unfair burden on small businesses.
Commissioner Bruce Scogin said he felt the early plans for a “per employee” fee were unnecessarily punitive, but that the $35 fee was reasonable. However, Scogin said Monday that he felt the issue has gone on too long and should be dropped if it couldn’t be resolved that night.
“Tonight we’re going to iron this out or I’m not going to fool with it anymore,” he said.
Thanks guys (except for Stanley Thomas, and we've become accustomed to your lack of logic). You got it right, and I will remember it.
----“I think we need to trash the whole ordinance,” said Commissioner Mike Youngblood, before making a motion to do away with the occupation tax. “I think we’ve wasted time bickering back and forth trying to get this thing ironed out … We’re not getting anything accomplished.”---
Hey, Mike. How about applying that same logic to animal control? You just might be catching on.