Newly sworn in council votes on sales tax ordinances

Town of Highland Lake

Highland Lake swore in their council Nov. 10 and proceeded to adopt three sales tax ordinances. Taking oaths of office were Chase Moore, roads committee chair; Greg Posey, finance and ordinances; Carl Randall, buildings and grounds; Sid Nelson, lake committee chair; Ramzi Malek, dredging committee chair; and mayor Donna Hanby.

Immediately after taking their oaths of office, the council took several actions, which included ordinances covering sales and use tax, a lodging tax, and a gasoline and motor fuel tax. Town clerk Joan Shirley explained that at the present time the sales and use tax is the only one the town can utilize.Shesaiditisa3percenttax on propane, the sale of which would go toward road improvements and the police department.

The gasoline and liquid motor fuel tax is a one-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline sold or delivered within the corporate limits of the town by a distributor or seller. Shirley said this tax cannot be collected as there are no gasoline or motor fuels sold or delivered in the town. The lodging tax of 4 percent also cannot be collected since there are also no hotels, motels, or bed-and-breakfasts currently operating within the town limits.

In other action, the council made changes to the lake use permit:

• A lake use permit for a person fishing off the bank, where permitted, is now $3.

• Residents with waterfront property will be charged an annual lake use permit fee of $200 per year plus a $25 dock sticker. There will also be a fee of $25 per motorized watercraft with a four motorized watercraft limit.

• Non-residents can obtain an annual lake use permit for $500. It covers one motorized or non-motorized vessel and one additional non-motorized vessel such as a canoe or kayak.

Before adjourning, Bill Rush, a member of the lake preservation committee, sought and received approval to seek assistance through FEMA for monies to be used for work on the spillway as well as other projects. Rush said the town would be required to pay for approved projects and then be reimbursed by FEMA.

The council also approved the appointments of Joan Shirley as town clerk, Scott Kon as police chief, Alex Smith as town attorney, and Ben Vance as CPA.

The council meets the first Tuesday of each month at The Anchor. Work sessions begin at 6 p.m. with the council meeting immediately following at 7 p.m.