Blount County tax referendum bill stuck in Senate

Scofield to the rescue....

The Blount County local bill providing for a referendum of the people in November on a proposed 1-cent countywide sales tax increase, passed the House of Representatives last week and moved to the Senate for final passage, according to District 11 Rep. Randall Shedd, the member of the Blount County delegation who sponsored the bill.

In the Senate, however, it ran into an obstacle. Sen. Bobby Singleton, representing all or part of eight Black Belt counties, and peeved at the failure of a local bill of his own to pass the Senate, contested all other local bills statewide.

Shedd said it’s a problem, but probably not a major one. “Late in the session frustration sets in and this kind of thing can happen,” he said. “I think it will work out and the hold will be lifted. I know people are working on it.”

District 9 Sen. Clay Scofield was more upbeat. “Nah, I’m not worried about it,” he said as he drove through Blount Springs Tuesday on his way to Montgomery. “We’ll make some magic happen, and get it passed,” he said. “Ain’t no hill too high for a high stepper!” he laughed.

“Seriously, I feel strongly people should be able to vote on this – I’ve talked to a number of folks, and I know they want to – so we’re gonna giv’em the opportunity.”

District 17 Sen. Shelnut agreed. “The hold shouldn’t delay the process too long,” he said. “If we were just a few days from adjourning, it might be a problem, but we’ve got time. If Sen. Singleton doesn’t release the hold, it’ll affect people all over the state, and he’ll have everybody in the Legislature mad at him. I can’t imagine that happening,” he said.