According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the city of Talladega was 19,128 in 1980. By the year 2000, the number had shrunk to 15,143. The final number for 2010 has not been published, but I daresay it has probably continued on the downward course.
The greatest reason for this decline is possibly the loss of the textile industry to foreign countries. With the textile jobs went many retail and service jobs.
Hope came when Honda moved their plant into the county, but this did not seem to replace the jobs that had been lost from Talladega city.
No one seems to know how to revitalize Talladega, especially those who would increase the burden on its citizens by raising sales tax at a time when our economy is in the doldrums. (The inadequate reason given was that everyone else is doing it.)
I propose an idea that may seem drastic, possibly foolish, on the surface, but one that just might turn this ship around.
Why don’t we do something to lighten the load on our citizens and help our remaining businesses? Rather than increasing sales tax, let’s roll it back to say 6% or 7%.
At the same time, we need to cut spending to the bone. It will be uncomfortable for a while, and everyone will have to sacrifice, but nothing worthwhile is gained without some sacrifice.
A noticeably lower sales tax in the city will garner positive publicity. It will encourage shoppers to patronize our businesses, and eventually will entice new businesses to locate here.
Call me crazy; call me stupid, but at least agree with me that something must be done, or our lovely city will continue to shrink.