Originally posted by Bob Pepalis
Municipalities across Fulton County are racing to again approve the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) distribution in the wake of a GA Supreme Court ruling that overturned one part of the law governing LOST.
In 2010 the GA General Assembly amended that law to add an appeal to a superior court judge if a city or county wasn't satisfied with the LOST negotiations. This "baseball arbitration" was ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court because it attempts to give the courts a legislative power.
"We are striking only the 2010 amendment, codified at OCGA § 48-8-89 (d) (4), which effectively grants judicial resolution of the allocation and distribution of tax proceeds, a process that we deem to be a clear violation of the separation of powers doctrine," the justices said in their ruling.
On the day of the ruling, the Georgia Municipal Association posted a release that said the "(LOST) agreements in at least 17 counties are in limbo."
On Oct. 10, the GA Department of Revenue made note of the ruling, and that parties to the suit had 10 days to file motions of reconsideration. The resolutions being adopted by Fulton County cities refer to the Department of Revenue directing them to reissue their distribution certificates within that 10-day timeframe.
Filing the new agreements appears to be an attempt to avoid conflicting with the ruling when it goes into effect.
The Association County Commissioners of Georgia said in its reaction to the Supreme Court ruling that the decision invalidates LOST distribution certifications imposed by the baseball arbitration method. "Presumably, LOST will now terminate for any county that has not yet filed a valid LOST certificate with the Department of Revenue," the ACCG release said.
East Point and Roswell voted on Monday to approve the resolution for the reissued certificate, Sandy Springs voted to approve it on Tuesday,while Alpharetta and Milton are among the cities planning to make the vote on Wednesday. Milton planned a special called meeting at noon, while Alpharetta scheduled its meeting at 7:30 p.m. Johns Creek plans a 1 p.m. Wednesday meeting.
Fulton County-Municipalities LOST Distribution
- 40.4358% – Atlanta
- 9.5183% – Sandy Springs
- 14% – Fulton County
- 5.8367% – Alpharetta
- 7.7815% – Johns Creek
- 3.3124% – Milton
- 0.0550% – Mountain Park
- 8.9598% – Roswell
- 0.2672 – Chattahoochee Hills
- 1.3079 – College Park
- 3.9590 – East Point
- 0.6856 – Hapeville
- 0.4247 – Palmetto
- 1.9732 – Union City
- 1.4829 – Fairburn