Walker County and its four municipalities remain at odds over distribution of the sales tax proceeds, and the matter is apparently headed to mediation.
The Lookout Mountain, Ga., City Council met for a special meeting on Tuesday morning to finish the discussion on the distribution in Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenues between Walker County and its municipalities.
The current distribution of the LOST revenues is 80% to the county and 20% to the city of Lookout Mountain and the three other Walker County incorporated municipalities, Lafayette, Chickamauga, and Rossville. County Attorney Don Oliver reported last Thursday that the position of the county was to amend the distribution to a 75% county draw and 25% to be divided among the four municipalities.
Mayor Bill Glascock reported to the council that representatives from the four Walker County municipalities met with Walker County officials including Commissioner Bebe Heiskel on Monday evening. The mayor reported that Walker County officials were not prepared to give any concession to the municipalities other that 75/25 without being ordered in arbitration. The mayor then stated that the position of the other municipalities is to request the distribution to be changed to 65% to the county and 35% to the municipalities.
With no concession from the county Mayor Glascock explained to the council that it appears the municipalities will be going to mediation with the county over the issue. At Monday's meeting with the county and municipal officials Mayor Glascock discovered that the other municipal officials want to use the Carl Vinson Institute, an organization at the University of Georgia that promotes and represents city’s rights in civil agreements.
The council voted and approved to allow the Carl Vinson Institute represent the city of Lookout Mountain along with the other Walker County municipalities if they go to mediation and arbitration with the county over the distribution of LOST revenues.