mostlycloudy
Thursday May 28th, 2015 2:17PM

Hall and its cities hold emergency session to re-do LOST

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Hall County and its cities met in emergency called session Thursday afternoon and agreed to revise the Local Option Sales Tax distribution certificate originally approved on Tuesday and sent to the State Revenue Department.

It was an emergency because $26-million in sales tax revenue was at stake and all the cities except Braselton and Buford sent representatives; their attorney sent an email agreement.

The Revenue Department decided that all incorporated cities had to sign off on the distribution and it had to be based on 2010 census population figures; County Commission Chairman Dick Mecum said it was a surprise.

"The way the Department of Revenue worded their letter changed whole game," Mecum said. "They were supposed to have sent that to us yesterday but they didn't send it until after we had sent in our certificate of declaration."

Mecum said the State Revenue letter stipulated that all incorporated cities had to agree on distribution, but in the past and according to state law, the city with 50 percent or more in population can sign with the county.

"In this particular case because they've changed everything we've had to go back and re-do the whole thing," Mecum said. "Basically the Department of Revenue in my opinion has generated their own legislation and said all the incorporated cities had to sign off on it; in the past that was not the law nor was it needed. It threw a wrinkle in the whole thing."

The Revenue Department's requirement to use the 2010 census paid off for some cities but not for Gainesville or Hall County. According to Mecum,Gainesville gets $600,000 less and Hall County's share is reduced by $200,000.

"The figures that we were using were the 2000 census," Mecum added. "The incorporated portions of Hall County other than Gainesville wanted to use the 2010 census. Flowery Branch and Oakwood have grown more and they wanted their greater share based on the 2010 Census, and that's what the complaint was all about."

Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller was not complaining Thursday, saying the revision was better for his city.

"The agreement earlier this week was not unanimous among all the cities and the county but cooler heads prevailed today,we have a clean certificate with percentages everyone agrees are fair and we're all happy with it," Miller said. "Everybody gets a percentage pretty close to the 2010 census numbers."

Flowery Branch gets 2.92 percent of LOST revenues under the revised distribution; the earlier amount was 1.39 percent.The other cities including Braselton, Buford, Clermont, Gillsville, Lula, and Oakwood also gained LOST revenue.

There was a 430 P.M. deadline to get the revision to the Revenue Department; after all the cities agreed, it was emailed to Atlanta.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Missing Ga. bank director arrested in Brunswick
A bank director accused of losing millions of investors' dollars before vanishing last year was arrested Tuesday during a traffic stop in a city in south Georgia.
7:00PM ( 1 year ago )
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Business News
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Victim critical following apartment fire
A 41-year-old woman was in critical but stable condition Tuesday after being rescued from an apartment fire in Forsyth County late Monday afternoon.
3:16PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Medicaid growth creates gap of 5M without coverage; 409K in Ga.
About 5 million people will be without health care next year that they would have gotten simply if they lived somewhere else in America.
7:30AM ( 1 year ago )
Vandals spray graffiti against Kerry in West Bank
Suspected Jewish vandals set fire to three vehicles in a West Bank village early on Tuesday and sprayed threatening graffiti referring to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry ahead of his expected visit to the region, police said.
7:28AM ( 1 year ago )
Feds announce test sites for drone aircraft
The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states on Monday that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the march of the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies.
2:23PM ( 1 year ago )
Politics
Roosevelt Square re-design project nears reality
Architectural plans for the redesign of Roosevelt Square were finally presented to the Gainesville City Council members at their work session Thursday morning.
1:14PM ( 1 hour ago )
US jobless aid applications rose last week; total still low
WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, though the overall level remains low and points to a healthy job market.Weekly applications increased 7,000 to a seasonally adj...
8:57AM ( 5 hours ago )
NE Ga.'s jobless rate drops in April; Gainesville metro has lowest rate in state
The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday morning that the unemployment rate for Northeast Georgia dropped for the month of April, and once again, the Gainesville Metro posted the lowest jobless rate of any metro in the state of Georgia.
By AccessWDUN staff
5:31AM ( 8 hours ago )
New federal rules on stream protection hailed, criticized
New EPA rules designed to better protect small streams, tributaries, wetlands and drinking water are being criticized by Republicans and farm groups.
5:00AM ( 9 hours ago )
Homeowners clean up in Texas; death toll climbs to 21
HOUSTON (AP) — Homeowners dragged soggy carpet to the curb and mopped up coffee-colored muck Wednesday after a barrage of storms and floods in Texas and Oklahoma left at least 21 people dead and 11 ot...
11:09PM ( 15 hours ago )