City will seek money from BP

Published 3:21 pm Monday, July 26, 2010

The City of Greenville will seek money from BP because of sales tax revenue lost from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Mayor Dexter McLendon said the issue should be brought before council members at their next meeting scheduled for Monday, Aug. 9.

Greenville relies heavily on sales tax dollars – especially in the summer months – from travelers on Interstate 65 bound for Gulf beaches. Sales tax figures for Greenville were actually up in May, although slightly, but June tax reports, due at the end of this month, could be lower.

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Restaurants, gas stations and hotels on I-65 have seen a noted decrease in traffic.

“The Fourth of July wasn’t even like a holiday,” said Bates House of Turkey manager Michelle Sloane. “It wasn’t near the traffic we are used to.”

Several cities are considering filing suits against BP for potentially lost tax revenue. The Luverne City Council approved such a measure in July and will be represented by the Beasley Allen of Montgomery, which has already filed several suits in state and district courts related to the oil spill.

On Thursday, Attorney General Troy King said he would file a suit against BP on behalf of the state for lost tax revenue and to recover any expenses incurred for clean-up efforts.

“The message is clear: the work to hold those responsible for this disaster is not one that knows a political home or that respects party lines or that can be avoided simply by delay tactics that run out the clock to a change in administrations,” said King after briefing both gubernatorial candidates Dr. Robert Bentley and Ron Sparks. “To the culprits of the disaster, hear us now, loudly and clearly – we will hold you, each of you, to account for your disaster.”

BP established a $20 billion claims fund in June to aid those affected by the oil spill.

The oil rig Deepwater Horizon sank in April.