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Enterprise considers sales tax increase

Sales taxes in Enterprise potentially could be increased. Some say that may be the only option to solve money woes for the school system.
Superintendent Dr. Camille Wright discusses the importance of upgrading school facilities in preparation for possible BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) changes and to provide safer and 21st century learning environments for students.
Superintendent Dr. Camille Wright discusses the importance of upgrading school facilities in preparation for possible BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) changes and to provide safer and 21st century learning environments for students.
Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell says he regrets the city's consideration of a sales tax increase, as the current rate of 8.5 % is the lowest in the region, but he says the city must take into consideration the needs of the schools, police and fire departments.
Enterprise Mayor Kenneth Boswell says he regrets the city's consideration of a sales tax increase, as the current rate of 8.5 % is the lowest in the region, but he says the city must take into consideration the needs of the schools, police and fire departments.
Nearly 17 million dollars to help upgrade schools is what Enterprise City Schools Superintendent Dr. Camille Wright wanted.

“We have a lot of buildings that have long since outlived their usefulness,” said Wright.  “I think it's critical that we upgrade our buildings and we get the 21st century learning environment that our students need to be on the cutting edge of education."

But her plea was not persuasive enough for city council members, who said they can't afford to give schools the money unless something changes.

However, that something could be an increased sales tax.

"I'm hopefully optimistic.  I think now, it's up to the citizens and how they feel about it.  I think it depends on what they want," said Wright.

The city is considering a one half cent increase, which would raise the Enterprise sales tax to 9% percent and put it on par with Dothan.

"The safety and security of our children is paramount and we want to make sure that we do everything that we can possibly do to make sure that all those needs are met, by not only the school system, but also our police and fire departments," said Mayor Kenneth Boswell.

Boswell said, before any decision is made, public input will be sought.  However, the public won't be allowed to vote.

"I do not believe they should raise the sales tax.  We would lose a lot of business because of it, since it's already at 8.5 % and raise it to 9 %.  I'd lose money as a merchant, so I'm not really for it," said Jenny Holley, owner of Shops on Main in Enterprise.

"If it will help our schools, then I'm all for it,” said Enterprise resident Lynn Lane.  “But if they use it for other things besides the schools, that will be different, you know, I wouldn't agree with it."

It’s not immediately clear when the proposed sales tax increase will be decided.

Boswell said he plans to meet with Wright to discuss the project and other school board requests before scheduling the public hearing.
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