Alpena Mayor Proposes New Tax Plan

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Photo Courtesy of Harrison Daily Times

Alpena Mayor Theron McCammond proposed a new tax plan for the city of Alpena that he believes will increase the city’s revenue substantially while also saving the citizens of Alpena on property tax.

Mayor McCammond proposed a 2% sales tax increase at a town hall meeting on Thursday, February 21st. In exchange for the increase is sales tax he plans to eliminate city property taxes. “I don’t like paying for things I already own,” Mayor McCammond said. He says the new tax plan will generate approximately $128,000 to $136,000 a year whereas the current property tax rates generate $7000 to $8000.

The current sales tax in Carroll County is 8% while Boone County stands at 8.75%. Alpena sits in both counties, so the proposed tax increase would raise the sales tax in the Carroll County portion of Alpena to 10% and the Boone County Portion to 10.75%.  

Alpena receives a substantial amount of outside traffic from tourists on their way to other parts of the Ozarks, and Mayor McCammond believes that people passing through Alpena will be paying the increase in sales tax more so than the citizens of the town. He hopes to incentivize land owners bordering the city limits to be annexed in by the elimination of city property tax. He says that land owners will benefit from annexation through savings on insurance.

He says annexation is important for the town’s future, because of the possibility of a bypass around Alpena one day being built, the city limits will reach far enough to still attract visitors and gain revenue from businesses located on the highway.  

Mayor McCammond suggested using the new revenue in this way:

30% to Infrastructure repair and improvements including street lights and sidewalks.

30% used for creating a Parks and Recreation Department for Alpena.

(Currently there are no parks in town and Mayor McCammond would like to see this added.)

10% to tourism promotion.

10% to Public Safety and the Alpena Police Department.

10% to city administration costs.

5% to Historical Society and museum

5% to other civic organizations to be identified later.

Mayor McCammond says this break down is only his thoughts and suggestions, and he hopes to gain input from Alpena citizens on what the extra money should be used for. Any increase in taxes will have to voted in by Alpena citizens and Mayor McCammond hopes this trade off will please the people of Alpena and provide the needed revenue to secure its future.

This tax plan is similar to Green Forest’s and Berryville’s tax plan who have seen significant improvements because of an increase in sales tax.

Story by: Coleman Taylor

colemansmith@khoz.com