Walker County Officials To Impose Half-Cent Sales Tax On Industry

Thursday, December 27, 2012

After "much deliberation," Walker County will impose a half-cent sales tax on power used by industrial customers, officials said.

“This has been a very difficult decision to reach,” said Walker County Chief Financial Officer Greg
McConnell. “The state has left us very little option in the short term.”

The tax decision follows legislation passed by the Georgia General Assembly earlier this year to repeal all sales tax on energy used by industrial and agricultural applications. Many county and city governments are trying to ensure that their debt obligations are covered by imposing what is being termed as an excise tax on industrial users, which is capped at 2 percent by House Bill 386 for the revenue lost.

Mr. McConnell said, "Even with the half cent being imposed, the net result will be an overall tax decrease for industrial users as the loin's share of the taxes will be gone.

“As sales taxes historically remain static, provision was not made by the legislature for a potentially
significant decrease in revenues. Such a substantial decrease in sales tax could result in an inability for the county to repay debt obligations such as the SPLOST voted in by citizens in

”The seven cents collected in sales tax in Walker County represents both state and local taxes with four cents going to the state and three cents to local initiatives such as the LOST (Local Option Sales Tax), SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax), and ESPOLST (Educational Special Purpose Local Option Sale Tax). The state repealed the entire sales tax amount without what seems as much thought as to how the action might effect local debt obligations".

“Walker County will impose the tax for the first year to run a cost benefits analysis as to the amounts of revenues lost,” Walker County Commissioner Bebe Heiskell said. “While we want to bring to our industrial partners all the benefits possible, we cannot shift such a potential loss of tax revenue to the backs of local residents. However, we are looking for ways to see the tax phased out entirely as our debt obligation diminishes.”

The Association of County Commissioners of Georgia is currently working with local governments to help navigate the issues potentially created by the state's decision, she said.

“We ask that our industrial partners remain patient with us as we adjust and resolve this issue,” Commissioner Heiskell concluded.

Former Tennessee Sheriff, Associates Arrested By The TBI

A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and investigators with the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury has resulted in the indictment and arrest of the former Gibson County Sheriff and several of his former employees on charges including theft and official misconduct.   At the request of 28 th District Attorney General Pro ... (click for more)

Girl, 13, Found Dead At Grandmother's Home At LaFayette

A 13-year-old girl was found dead Monday morning at the home of her grandmother at LaFayette, Ga. Police said the cause of her death is unknown at this time. The body was sent to Atlanta for an autopsy. Her body was discovered at 6:15 a.m. She was staying with her grandmother while her father worked a third-shift job. (click for more)

Why Are We Allowing Poor Architecture And Urban Design Downtown?

   Over the past four decades our fair city has enjoyed striking improvements to our City Center and Northshore areas in large part due to citizen input and the guidance of the former Urban Design Studio. We are now widely recognized as a hotbed of entrepreneurship, neighborhood revitalization and good Urban Design. At the most recent City Council meeting, the leader and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden In December

As the fallen leaves confirm today is the first of December, my monthly walk in life’s garden is more foggy than fun. In much-older times, good children would get a piece of candy on Christmas Day while bad ones would receive a lump of coal. So here are some things that deserve a helping of both: A PIECE OF CANDY to the amazingly few who can spy a nest of mistletoe high in area ... (click for more)

No 1 Connecticut Overwhelms Lady Mocs, 79-31

At least 6,104 basketball enthusiasts got to see what the best women’s college basketball team in the country looks like Monday night at McKenzie Arena. The three-time defending national champion Connecticut Huskies won for the fourth time this season and 41 st game in a row with an impressive 79-31 victory over the Chattanooga Lady Mocs before the seventh-largest crowd in ... (click for more)

Ryan Parker and Traneil Moore Are Mr Football Winners

Senior Ryan Parker of Baylor School and junior Traneil Moore of  East Ridge have been selected as Tennessee Titans Mr. Football winners for 2015. Parker is the D-II AA Lineman of the Year and Moore is the D-I 3A Back of the Year Ryan Parker - Baylor School ... senior linebacker/running back ... 2015 stats included 95 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, eight quarterback sacks, ... (click for more)