County considers tax

A user tax might become a possibility for Madison County. However, the tax is not meant to affect county residents.

Officials recently discussed how to implement a tax on hotels, motels, and possibly liquor stores in the county.

“I’m trying to find ways for the county to make money,” District 4 Supervisor David Bishop said. “I’ve noticed that a lot of hotels… have a user tax for people staying at the hotel. They have a liquor tax and a county hotel tax.”

Bishop asked the county attorney, Katie Bryant Snell, and the county administrator, Shelton Vance, to look into the possibility of having that kind of tax.

“What I was thinking was having a tax without actually having to tax the constituents,” he said.

“Madison County has a total of $30 million in the bank,” District 2 Supervisor Trey Baxter, board president, said. “$15 million of that can be used for road construction. Why raise taxes if we have that much money?”

Unanimous approval of the board of supervisors is needed before the issue is given to the delegation board. Then it must go through the legislative process like a regular bill. 

“Every legislator that touches Madison County would have to be behind it,” Baxter said. “The board can’t levy that type of tax. It has to go through the legislative process and be approved through local and private legislation. It has to have a vote in the senate and the house and be signed by the governor.”

Baxter said he will not vote for the user tax, since placing a user tax on liquor stores would more likely affect county residents.

“They’ll never get my vote because I don’t believe in raising taxes. That would be a tax on constituents, not people coming through. Madison County doesn’t have revenue problem; it has a spending problem.”

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