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Council says no to sales tax exemptions 

Last week, Atlanta City Council took a stand against two industries that wanted to skirt a proposed 1 percent sales tax increase. Car dealerships and hotels seek an exemption from the sales tax, which is intended to raise money for Mayor Shirley Franklin's bold, $3 billion-plus overhaul of the city's sewer system.

On Jan. 20, the council unanimously passed a resolution opposing any exemptions to the proposed sales tax. And state Sen. Vincent Fort and City Councilman Derrick Boazman held a rally and press conference Jan. 26 in a Capitol building conference room to oppose any tax exemptions.

The bad news is that the hostility toward the exemptions will make it difficult for the General Assembly to pass any new sales tax in the city of Atlanta. Under the Gold Dome, the hotel, tourism, and convention industry lobbyists are among the most powerful, and they don't want a new tax that could make it harder for Atlanta to compete against other cities for big time sports events and conventions.

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