mostlycloudy
Saturday August 1st, 2015 5:40AM

Forsyth moves closer to energy excise tax

By Bill Johnson
CUMMING - Forsyth County is one step closer to implementing an energy excise tax on manufacturers.

Commissioners held a public hearing and first reading of an ordinance to collect the tax Thursday, the same tax the state is phasing out on Jan. 1 at the urging of Gov. Nathan Deal who says it makes Georgia less competitive in attracting new business.

County commissioners signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the city of Cumming two months ago, paving the way for the county to collect the tax.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard said holding a public hearing after an IGA has been signed may seem implausible.

"But it is the way the statute is written. We met with the city of Cumming to decide if we both want to impose the tax. The IGA was a manifestation of that agreement," he said.

The ordinance is the legal mechanism that authorizes collection of the tax, and two public hearings are required before an ordinance can be adopted. The second public hearing is still two weeks away and two commissioners, Patrick Bell and Todd Levent, have said they are leaning against adopting the ordinance.

Bell said he strongly opposes the ordinance and Levent said he wants more information, but right now is considering voting no.

"They can still vote their conscience the way they choose to," Jarrard said. "But they need to be reminded of their obligation under the contract. It's up to them what they choose to do, but they have already agreed to implement this. "

Even if the ordinance is approved on Dec. 20, Jarrard said, "The board next year can undo it at any time and get out of the tax business."

Bell will be leaving the board at the end of the year, to be replaced by commissioner-elect Cindy Mills.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Couch names administrative team
Ahead of his scheduled swearing in Friday, Hall County Sheriff-elect Gerald Couch named his top administrative team Monday.
6:28PM ( 2 years ago )
Tech beats Southern California in Sun Bowl
Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to help Georgia Tech beat Southern California 21-7 on Monday in the Sun Bowl.
5:54PM ( 2 years ago )
Hall Co. officials launch health-based initiative for employees
Hall County officials believe healthy county employees will be of greater service to the county. With that in mind, they have created a health-based fitness initiative to provide free fitness training for county workers.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Towns Co. man charged in domestic violence incident, standoff with police
Following an alleged incident of severe domestic violence and a brief standoff with Towns County authorities, a Hiawassee man has been arrested and now faces a long list of charges.
9:35PM ( 8 hours ago )
Agencies spend afternoon clearing wreck on Athens Hwy
Athens Highway was shut down at Gillsville Highway for most of the Friday afternoon rush hour following a traffic accident and ensuing fire.
4:39PM ( 13 hours ago )
Maysville man charged in Homer armed robbery
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Banks County Sheriff's Office charged a Maysville man in connection with Thursday's armed robbery at a Homer credit union.
4:31PM ( 13 hours ago )
Permit suspended at ropes course where Cumming teen fatally injured
Tennessee has suspended the operating permit at a Knoxville ropes course after an 18-year-old from Cumming, Georgia was fatally injured there last week.
By Associated Press
1:34PM ( 16 hours ago )
Mayor asks residents to support 2016 regatta on Lanier
Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan is asking residents to contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to show their support for the annual National Championship Rowing Regatta planned for Memorial Day weekend in 2016.
12:06PM ( 17 hours ago )