Nearly 20 years ago, Elmore County and the City of Prattville agreed to establish a special district in the portion of Prattville that lies within Elmore County.
At that time the area was largely undeveloped. To spur development, a special sales tax was created to levelize the rate in that district to the rest of the city of Prattville and split the proceeds between Prattville, Elmore County and the district.
Now that area is booming, and both parties have put forward a bill to stop limiting any of the proceeds specifically to that district.
“The commission and city have had this on our radar,” said Troy Stubbs, chairman of the Elmore County Commission. “We’ve had discussions about how we could modernize the agreement to reflect the growing communities and the needs of our respective constituents.”
The initial agreement split the proceeds of the special 1-cent sales tax 50-50 between Prattville and Elmore County, with each committing 10% to a special fund for improvements within the district.
The new legislation removes that obligation to commit money to that special fund, freeing up more funds for use elsewhere in Prattville and Elmore County.
“We’ve seen tremendous growth there and there likely will continue to be growth ,” Stubbs said. “We’re excited for growth not only in that area, but the entirety of Elmore County.”
The special funds for each will be abolished once all funds have been spent, or no later than Oct. 31, 2024.
Stubbs and his fellow commissioners said the change reflects the synergy between the district and other parts of the county. Events outside the district such as a fishing tournament can have a large impact on the district, creating needs for lodging, shopping and dining.
The bill also includes language to remit a third of lodging fund proceeds to the municipalities in which they were collected, including Prattville.
The bill is currently being advertised and then will be brought forward by the local delegation in the Alabama Legislature.
In Alabama, counties do not have home rule and therefore must go through the legislative body to get local bills passed.
Stubbs said the local delegation supports the bill but its exact path is not yet clear. The Legislature is not obligated to pass anything other than its general fund and education budgets, but uncontroversial local bills typically pass through quickly with only the local representatives voting.