CAMP VERDE - At Tuesday's special work session, Camp Verde Town Council approved an ordinance that would decrease the sales tax rate to 1 percent on any single item that costs more than $5,000.
This sales tax rate decrease is meant to attract business that sell items such as cars or recreational vehicles, Town Manager Russ Martin said.
Before council voted 6-0 to pass Ordinance 2015-A405, Mayor Charlie German spoke in favor of the proposal.
"This is a tool we need in our toolbox," Mayor Charlie German said. "It will be a benefit to our town, I have talked to friends and they look at our situation and say we are at ground-level, we are at a critical point, someone will take a look at what we have and see the potential Camp Verde has. I-17 is huge, highway 260 is huge."
The change in sales tax rate will go into effect beginning August 1. Though council member Robin Whatley was not present during the vote, she voiced her support for the proposal earlier in the meeting.
"Right now there are two empty buildings out there and a blank concrete slab," Whatley said of the empty car dealership on SR 260 at Coury Drive. "If someone is willing to spend a substantial amount of money to grow that business, I would rather see someone out there doing something rather that it sit there empty."
With the passing of the sales tax decrease, the Town Manager said he hopes to see new types of businesses come to town.
"I am glad council was able to pass the tax," Martin said. "It bodes well to bring in a different type of business to Camp Verde."
Council member Bruce George said he doesn't believe the stretch of highway at the former Steve Coury dealership will stay empty.
"Businesses will grow along that corridor in time," George said. "I think in the future we will see more businesses, and it won't be that isolated out there for very long. I think this will be a good thing for Camp Verde."
During the pre-vote discussion, from council member Carol German and Vice Mayor Jackie Baker suggested moves that could benefit the town.
"If this opportunity is going to generate tax dollars for us, I hope they succeed. I want to see that," council member German said. "But I think we need to give faith to our own businesses as well, though."
Vice Mayor Jackie Baker also voiced her concern for the local business owners.
"We need to help businesses that are in town now and the citizens of Camp Verde," Baker said. "We need to try [to] figure out what we can do for the town of Camp Verde.
When asked what the council may be able to do for the town in the future, Mayor German says he hopes the town can eventually rescind the sales tax increase that was implemented earlier this year.
At the conclusion of the special work session the Town Council set a budget work session for 5:30 p.m. May 27 in council chambers, located at 473 S. Main St. #106.