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Dougherty County approves continuing 2% tax on energy

ALBANY, Ga. — The Dougherty County Commission met in a special called session Monday to approve a 2 percent excise tax on energy used by businesses and manufacturers in the county.

Votes by Georgia counties on the excise tax, which Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard stressed was a "continuation" of special-purpose local-option sales tax and local-option sales tax funds already being collected by the county, became necessary when the state approved 2012 legislation to phase out the 4 percent energy tax that the states collects from those businesses over the next four years.

"I'd like to reiterate that this is not a new tax on our manufacturers," District 1 Commissioner Lamar Hudgins said. "We're voting to continue collecting the local tax."

Before approving the excise tax, the county approved an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Albany through which the two government entities will continue to share revenue from the 2 percent tax collections. The city approved the same agreement at a special called meeting last Tuesday.

"What it boils down to is that we simply can't afford (not to pass the excise tax)," District 6 Commissioner Jack Stone said. "If the state had done this differently, had just lifted the 4 percent state tax, we wouldn't have to go through this.

"If we don't vote to continue these collections, (the shortfall) will have to come from somewhere. And usually that means property owners."

State law says approval of the excise taxes must come from each individual county and that division of tax revenues with municipalities located in each county is to be determined by memoranda of understanding. Dougherty Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard, responding to a question from District 4 Commissioner Ewell Lyle, said division of the excise tax money would be determined by SPLOST and LOST percentages.

The city of Albany receives 64 percent of SPLOST funds collected, but an agreement on the division of local-option sales tax funds, which is renewed every 10 years, is still undecided. The city has received 60 percent of LOST funds for the past 20 years, but is asking for a larger split of that 1 percent collection. The county wants to keep the 60-40 split, and if the two do not reach an agreement soon, a Superior Court judge will decide the matter.

Each percentage point equals $175,000 in tax funds.

"The state dictated this process," Sinyard said. "It would make sense that (the LOST split) stay the same that it's been for the past 20 years."

Comments

msa651 1 year, 9 months ago

All the 2% energy use tax means is that the city and county are more interested in spending than keeping jobs in the area.

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VSU 1 year, 9 months ago

Sounds almost like they are choosing whether to run the property owners out of town or the businesses out of town.

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whattheheck 1 year, 9 months ago

Actually both goals that are being pursued at breakneck speed. so it seems. One of these days the turnip is going to run out of blood from either source.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 9 months ago

It also says the County and the City Commissions are not interested in making government smaller, more efficient and less expensive. The County could start saving money and improving services by consolidating the law enforcment agencies in this one-horse county.

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Cartman 1 year, 9 months ago

Don't act like you care about property owners after that shameless stunt you pulled a few years ago with your over-inflated property tax appraisals. This was followed by absolutely no downward adjustment recently in the fact of overwhelming evidence that property values have plummeted. Quit squandering our money and then telling us you have concern for our welfare.

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Amazed2 1 year, 9 months ago

We the people of Lee County say thank you Dougherty County. We welcome those crossing the bridge into Lee County.

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ittybittyme 1 year, 9 months ago

Hey Amazed....Lee County is not much better!

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mr_nobody 1 year, 9 months ago

I pay about 3x as much in Lee County as I did in the last state I lived in for a comparable house value. But, it would be about 4x as much in Dougherty County.

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Trustbuster 1 year, 9 months ago

A caveat. DOCO commission wants to remain competitive to new businesses then don't add any additional taxes onto manufacturers. Healthcare costs and higher taxes are shutting down your businesses.

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Sister_Ruby 1 year, 9 months ago

As Ronald Reagan said "The beaurocrats have never seen a tax they didn't like"

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