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 The state repealed the entire sales tax amount without what seems as much thought as to how the action might effect local debt obligations".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


Chattanooga Railroad Series: Chickamauga And Durham Railroad (To Wallaceville)

A railroad once ran from Chickamauga, Ga., to a coal mining community called Durham on Lookout Mountain. The building of a railroad across a series of hills to the foot of the mountain and then ascending the mountain itself was a prodigious task. It was accomplished using convicts supplied by the state, who were armed only with picks, hammers and spikes, and blasting powder. ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BALLARD, RODNEY EDWARD     3407 MYRA AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37412     49     East Ridge          DOMESTIC AGGRAVATED ASSAULT BETHUNE, RICHARD GUINN     137 WINDY LANE MENLO, 30731     51     Chattanooga ... (click for more)

When The City Was Silent - And Response

I don't know how to say this without getting my head handed back to me on a platter as is often the usual case. But at least I no longer receive the hateful (even threatening) emails and insults I became accustomed to. So I'll just bite and say it: I honestly don't see anything expressed by the NSM that hasn't been said locally on some level at one time or another, and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW-UAW Fiasco Begins

One pundit who is awaiting the opening volleys of “The Volkswagen Hearings” is calling today’s start of the labor union fiasco at the Hamilton County Courthouse as fascism at its finest. That’s what you call it, he wrote in a fiery way, when the union, the employer and the president of the United States all line up on the same side. “And this push to eviscerate the legal rights ... (click for more)

Injury Ends Playing Career Of Bradley Central's Chelsie Summars

Bradley Central girls basketball star Chelsie Summars, who underwent two serious operations on her right knee that wiped out her sophomore season, has suffered a third injury that will end her playing career, Bearettes coach Jason Reuter said via text. Summars, who helped the Bearettes win district, region and sectional titles en route to the 2013-14 Class AAA state tournament, ... (click for more)

Lenoir, Kelly Sisters Of Milligan College Earn All-AAC Tennis Honors

Three former Arts & Sciences tennis players have been named to the 2014 Appalachian Athletic Conference All-Conference squad. Jackson Lenoir, Ahmee Kelly and Kayla Kelly, who attend Milligan College, were selected to the men’s and women’s all-conference teams. Lenoir, now a sophomore, helped Milligan win the 2013 league championship and reach the 2014 semifinals. The ... (click for more)