How did Birmingham acquire a $53 million surplus?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – City leaders are working on how they will spend the recently announced $53 million surplus, but how did the city end up with such an excessive amount of money?

City leaders point to higher-than-expected tax receipts as part of the surprisingly large surplus.

“The tax itself, both the sales tax and the SSUT, which is part of it, has played a significant role in the surplus that the City of Birmingham is currently running to the tune of $53 million,” said Councilman Hunter Williams.

Perhaps the Sellers Simplified Use Tax (SSUT) should receive the largest amount of credit due to changing shopping habits created by the pandemic.

“The SSUT tax is part of the sales tax. That’s what the state of Alabama hands over to local municipalities for online purchases,” Williams said.

The accommodation tax has also been hailed as a success and many believe the revenue total could increase even further with the World Games and USFL fast approaching.

“We already have the USFL players and coaches staying at the Sheraton for the next 12 weeks or so. It’s constant income coming in. Because we have teams coming in from out of state, we have people coming there and then the world games billions of people will be here just like the olympics and millions will be watching online and it will attract even more people to come here and contribute to all the taxes that have contributed to the surplus,” said Councilor Crystal Smitherman.


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