Facing a multi-million dollar deficit, a divided Hoover City Council Tuesday night voted to increase taxes, and impose a new fee on hotel rooms. The council voted 4-3 to approve the hikes, estimated to bring in $11.2 million in additional revenue. The plan hikes the city's portion of the sales tax rate from 3 percent to 3.5 percent. A tax on tangible personal property, or leased items, was increased by the same amount. In addition to the tax hikes, guests at Hoover hotels will see a $2 per night fee on their bills. Councilors Casey Middlebrooks, Derrick Murphy, Curt Posey and Council President Gene Smith voted for the tax increases. Councilors John Greene, John Lyda, and Mike Shaw were opposed. Supporters of the hikes, including Mayor Frank Brocato, said they are necessary to deliver essential services, including public safety. But opponents contended that the increases are premature. The tax hikes take effect Oct. 1, and the hotel room fee on Jan. 1.
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