HB 170 would have a devastating effect on our community –Valdosta Board of Education

The Valdosta Board of Education unanimously passed a resolution against HB 170 last night and forwarded it to the local legislative delegation via email and on paper, according to Joy at the Valdosta School Superintendent’s office just now.

Not surprisingly, VBOE’s resolution looks a lot like the City of Valdosta’s resolution. Both were written before yesterday’s changes to HB 170, which still pit counties against cities.

The Lowndes County Board of Education unanimously passed a similar resolution also last night.

What will the Lowndes County Commission do tonight? And what will the Lowndes County Board of Education do Thursday?

Here’s the Rationale in the yesterday’s VBOE agenda:

HB170 has been introduced this legislative session. It proposes to remove the local tax on fuel and replace it with a tax at the distributor level which would be paid to the state. For Valdosta City Schools this would mean a reduction in revenue of approximately $1.8 million annually from ESPLOST. The total loss of revenue for the city and county governments and the city and county school districts would be approximately $12 million annually. If passed, this bill would have a devastating effect on our community.

And here’s the resolution:


WHEREAS, the Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure Funding has issued a report which identifies the need for the State of Georgia to raise additional revenue to address transportation needs; and

WHEREAS, House Bill 170 has now been introduced which recommends the state invest over $1 billion annually in transportation related projects, with over $500 million of the $1 billion coming from local sales taxes from cities, counties and school systems; and

WHEREAS, in 2013, local governments in Georgia collected $516 million in local sales taxes (LOST, SPLOST, ELOST, ESPLOST, HOST, MARTA and Atlanta’s MOST) from the sales of motor fuel; and

WHEREAS, if motor fuel is removed or exempted from local sales taxes, the Georgia Municipal Association estimates that Lowndes County could lose approximately $12,387,653.89 million annually, including proceeds to the Valdosta City government, the Lowndes County government and the Lowndes County and Valdosta City School Systems; and

WHEREAS, the proposed bill would reduce local SPLOST funding, local LOST collections used for funding services and property tax reduction and local E-SPLOST funding to the school systems by approximately $4,129,217.96 for each tax annually; and

WHEREAS, in 2013, the total amount of SPLOST funds spent on transportation by the cities and counties of Georgia was approximately $746 million; and

WHEREAS, Georgia’s local governments have made and continue to make substantial investments toward transportation projects; and

WHEREAS, this Board urges the members of the Georgia General Assembly and our local delegation to strongly oppose any provision or measure to reduce allocation of sales tax funding to local governments;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the Board of Education for the City of Valdosta, Georgia hereby urges the Georgia General Assembly and our local delegation to strongly oppose any bill, provision or measure to re-allocate local sales tax funding from local governments to the state of Georgia. Furthermore that the state of Georgia not approve any provision of a transportation bill that authorizes double taxation of municipal residents.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution was introduced at a Regular Meeting of the Valdosta Board of Education, held on the 9th day of February, 2015, and adopted at said meeting by the affirmative vote of ________ members of the Board.

Vanassa Flucas, Chair, Valdosta BOE

Debra Bell, Vice Chair

Jeana Beeland

Warren Lee

Williams F. Love

Dean Rexroth

Julian C. Sherwood III

Liz Shumphard

Kelly Wilson

E. Martin Roesch, Superintendent


Joy Jennings, Recording Secretary