The Commission supports and adopts a resolution for Amendments 2 and 7

Posted 8:30 a.m. on Friday, October 14, 2022

The Covington County Commission approved the passage of a resolution expressing support for Amendments 2 and 7 on the November ballot at a regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 11.

Amendment 2 would allow state and local governments to use certain public funds to encourage broadband expansion in rural and underserved areas of the state.

“This is important to our commission as Covington Electric is currently midway through a project to bring broadband to every customer in its system. This primarily represents 95% of our county in rural areas and other neighboring counties like Coffee or Crenshaw. Once they complete this project, it will have a very positive impact on our economy. The commission has expressed a desire to offer support, but there are some limitations to what the commission can do with the funds. This would clarify and hopefully remove some of these restrictions on funding. I certainly encourage support for Amendment 2,” said chair Greg White.

Amendment 7 makes several technical changes necessary to strengthen the ability of local governments to fully support local economic development projects. “Covington County has a local constitutional amendment, but not every county in the state has it. This will provide each county and is basically just a continuum of autonomy that counties have fought for for many years,” White added.

The commission discussed section 40-9-1 of the Alabama Code, which deals with personal property exemptions for businesses. The commission has until June 1, 2023 to notify Revenue Commissioner Chuck Patterson of its decision to grant the council tax exemption.

“I think we honestly need to look into this a bit more. It’s something I’ve seen, but I wish I had a little more time to investigate,” District 2 Commissioner Michael Smith said.

“For me, I see the effects this is going to have across the county, but if we are going to have a substantial amount of money for each person, I think most people would rather continue to pay this than get a county exemption. I want to get more information,” District 1 Commissioner Kenneth Northey said.

“It’s hard to say whether the tax cut would benefit these businesses in a way where they would increase their goods and services and get more revenue to offset that. It’s a gamble with no way of really knowing,” District 4 Commissioner Tommy McGaha added.

No action has been taken on the authorized exemption, but the matter will be brought before the commission at a later date.

In other cases:

  • The commission approved a change in disposal method for two graders that did not sell at a JM timber auction, approving that they be auctioned on GovDeals or any other suitable auction site as deemed appropriate by the Engineer and County Administrator.
  • The commission approved the purchase of a new Ford F-450 truck at a cost of approximately $65,000 for the County Engineering Department.

The next meeting of the Covington County Commission will be Tuesday, October 25, at 9 a.m. at the Covington County Administration Building. The public is invited to attend.

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