Tag Archives: arbitration

County lost LOST; now has 120 days to negotiate with cities

So all our tax money the county spent on the alleged county attorney arguing before the state Supreme Court was wasted. The remaining law seems to say by 120 days from Monday the cities and the county need to come to an agreement.

Kay Harris wrote for the VDT yesterday, Lowndes LOST in limbo: Supreme Court tosses key amendment,

In a ruling issued Monday, Oct. 7, the Supreme Court of Georgia declared a 2010 amendment to the Local Option Sales Tax Act unconstitutional, reasoning that the amendment would delegate a legislative function of allocating tax proceeds to the judicial branch of government, a violation of the Separation of Powers clause of the Georgia Constitution.

For Lowndes County, the ruling effectively renders the lawsuit moot that was filed by the five cities against the county in September 2012.

The Supreme Court’s ruling came in the case of Turner County vs. the City of Ashburn over a dispute in splitting the proceeds from the one cent sales tax, the same issue in the Lowndes lawsuit. By declaring the portion unconstitutional that would allow a judge to decide how to allocate the tax dollars between the entities, the issue is now in limbo for several counties in Georgia.

You may recall that former Chairman Ashley Paulk wasn’t interested in discussing proposals from the cities, and said from before the LOST negotiations began that he expected it to go to arbitration.

This was the same Chairman Ashley Paulk who put SPLOST VII on the ballot a year early and lost it. I wonder how much input County Manager Joe Pritchard had into these two losing decisions?

At least SPLOST VI hasn’t expired yet and there’s time for the voters to go again on SPLOST VII in November.

What happens now with LOST? Continue reading

LOST decision coming from GA Supreme Court

Local Lowndes County and city officials are awaiting breathlessly the news from Atlanta today about new rules on LOST negotiations. Currently, negotiators have to choose one of the positions submitted by the contending parties. The GA Supreme Court may decide to let negotiators pick some other division of LOST funds. Valdosta Mayor John Gayle cancelled a meeting here yesterday so he could be in Atlanta for this court decision. Lowndes County Commissioners are rumored to be planning a meeting tomorrow morning after the decision.

Fox 31 posted 30 May 3012, Supreme Court of Georgia to hear Turner County LOST case

On June 4th, the Georgia Supreme Court will hear the case between Turner County and three cities over the distribution of Local Option Sales Taxes. Below is the entirety of the facts in the case as released by the court:

In this dispute between the governments of Turner County and three cities over how Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) proceeds should be distributed, the county is appealing a superior court ruling which picked the cities’ plan for distribution over the county’s.

There’s much more detail in that article. Also, Tim Omarzu wrote for timesfreepress.com 9 May 2013, Georgia top court to consider LOST negotiations.