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
2008.

”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 The state repealed the entire sales tax amount without what seems as much thought as to how the action might effect local debt obligations".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.



2 Suspects Sought In Dollar General Armed Robbery Sunday Morning

Two male suspects are being sought for a Dollar General Store armed robbery on McCallie Avenue on Sunday morning. Chattanooga Police responded around 9 a.m. The clerk said the suspects demanded money, and that one of them was armed. They fled on foot. Both men had their faces and hands covered. The store will stay closed until Monday. (click for more)

Latest Jail Booking Report From Hamilton County

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BARNETT, MYLES NICHOLAS  HOMELESS ,  Age at Arrest: 25 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga BURGLARY VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF --- BELL, JA DARYL J  130 MARGARITA LANE EAST RIDGE, 37412  Age at Arrest: 18 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA ... (click for more)

Connie McDade Enriched The Lives Of Hundreds Of Students

The message about Connie McDade was very touching. I was one of Connie's professors at UTC and thankfully she excelled anyway.  She was an enthusiastic educator, an exceptional person and generous individual.  She was a devoted teacher, loving wife, wonderful mentor and someone who will continue to bring joy to others beyond this life.   Future students ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Last You’d Suspect

Back when Bill Lenz launched Christ the Rock Community Church, the idea was to spread the gospel in Menasha, Wisc. but Bill and his brother Bob soon found they were dealing with people in trauma situations – drug and alcohol addiction, poverty, the homeless, and suicide prevention. As the church grew, they started an offshoot ministry called “Solid Rock” that deals with suicide ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Back To .500 With Win Over 49ers

The Chattanooga Mocs are now at .500 for the first time this season after Sunday afternoon’s 64-50 victory over the North Carolina-Charlotte 49ers. Progress has been slow at times for the youngest team in the NCAA, but the Mocs played much better in the first half than they did in the first and were rewarded with a 14-point victory after being tied at halftime. “We had ... (click for more)

UTC Women Fall To Virginia Tech 64-44

The Chattanooga Lady Mocs started off the current basketball season with three straight losses, including a 60-30 whipping at Green Bay on November 11. Things had gotten better since that time as the Lady Mocs came into Sunday afternoon’s home game with Virginia Tech on a six-game winning streak, but the train jumped off the track, the local girls had one of their poorest performances ... (click for more)