Glen Pruitt, a Montgomery City Council Member for District 8, plans to bring up the discussion of an occupational tax for the city of Montgomery with the intention of raising the starting salary of Montgomery police officers and funding public safety in the city.
An occupational tax is paid by anyone who works in the city limits, even if their residence is another city.
Pruitt is proposing a 1% occupational tax that could raise an additional $45 to $55 million in additional revenue for the city. For someone making $50,000 a year, that would mean a cost of $500 per year.
Pruitt points to low officer pay as a reason why Montgomery is unable to keep officers from leaving for better opportunities in other cities.
“We train these officers here and then they go somewhere else, Hoover, Vestavia, wherever, and make more money with less headache,” he explained. “We have a crime issue in Montgomery. You saw the tapes on New Year’s Eve. We have to put more people in our public safety department and this is one way to do it.”
Pruitt says he would also like to propose offsetting the tax increase by repealing the city’s portion of the grocery tax. Repealing the grocery tax would save 3.5 percent per visit to a grocery store in the city.