Wednesday, January 8 2014 5:50 PM EST2014-01-08 22:50:22 GMT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
Some bar owners in Montgomery are fired up after they say the city increased a liquor tax and didn't give any notice.
Mayor Todd Strange apologized Tuesday night saying the bar owners should have gotten a 30-day notice and now he's changing the effective date.
The tax is increasing from 5 percent to 15 percent. The tax went into effect Jan. 1, but the mayor says the date has now been pushed back to Feb 1.
Bar owners say the increase not only takes from their bottom line, but the cost has to be passed on to the customer.
Many Montgomery bar owners went to the city council meeting Tuesday to find out why they weren't notified before the increase. The owner of 1048 Jazz and Blues in Cloverdale, Doug Gurney, says he got the notice Tuesday that the tax increase went into effect Jan. 1.
"The reality is it's a lot of money. If you buy $5,000 a month worth of liquor, you would pay $250 at 5 percent now we'll be paying $750. That's $6,000 a year that has to come from somewhere," Gurney said.
David Hudson, a bartender at 1048, says customers will notice the increase.
"All of our well liquor stands at $4.75 for Vodka, Bourbon, Gin, etc and so it's actually going to jump us about 50 cents across the board; your well goes up to $5.25," Hudson said.
Mayor Strange says there will be meeting with bar owners to get the facts from revenue and finance officials. He wants to make it clear that this increase is just on alcohol. He said the increase is comparable to nearby cities such as Prattville, Birmingham and Huntsville.
"If you only get a 10 percent increase over 43 years that sounds pretty good to me," Strange said.
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