The Whitesburg City Council voted unanimously to approve the second reading of an ordinance that raises the prices of city stickers for residents of Whitesburg as well as people who work in the city, and increases the fine for people who do not purchase them. Mayor James Wiley Craft read the ordinance that calls for a 50-cent raise in the cost of single city stickers, from $7.50 to $8 and the cost of two in the same family from $12.50 to $15. Senior citizens will be able to purchase their city stickers at the old rate of $7.50 each and $12.50 for two.
The stickers must be displayed on the windowshield of each car and the fine for not having a city sticker was raised from $50 to $60. Each day the fine isn’t paid constitutes a separate offense so the $60 fine will be re-applied for each day it isn’t paid.
Mayor Craft told the council the ordinance has not been amended since 1970 and has lasted for more than 40 years at the same rate. Council member Robin Bowen Watco said it is her understanding that the city needs new sources of revenue and that if people will participate and purchase the stickers, the city will not be forced to adopt a payroll tax.
Craft told the council after six months, he will look at compliance rates and see if the people who work in the city will comply with the ordinance. If they do, then the city will not be forced to adopt a payroll tax, but if they don’t, Craft said the council will have to look at a payroll tax to provide the needed revenue. He said that people who work in Whitesburg and live elsewhere enjoy the same benefits from the city as residents, including police protection, well maintained streets, clean water, and other benefits that citizens pay for, and they should be willing to pay their share for them.