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No vote this fall on inventory tax issue

County missed ballot deadline

POSTED: August 18, 2012 9:30 p.m.

A referendum on a possible inventory tax exemption won’t be on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Forsyth County Attorney Ken Jarrard told commissioners Thursday that the deadline has passed to get the question before voters this year.

After his initial consultation with the county’s election office, Jarrard said he had believed the deadline to call for the special election was Aug. 21.

However, since the vote would take place as part of the general election, the actual deadline was 90 days’ prior instead of the 29 required for a “standalone special election,” Jarrard said.

“With all the apologies I can muster, we’re just not going to be able to get there [this year],” he said.

The referendum, if passed, would allow the county to exempt all or part of ad valorem, or inventory, taxes for businesses.

Even if put on the ballot next year, the exemption could not be put in place until 2014, since the tax can begin only at the start of a year, Jarrard said.

Commissioner Patrick Bell first asked the commission to consider the referendum in May after a state law made it possible to put on the ballot.

Bell proposed asking the voters about the exemption since it could be a measure to attract business.

“We fiddled around, and now we’re going to lose another year and a half,” Bell said.

Commissioner Pete Amos, who was not sold on the idea of a referendum, said the commission will now have time to review the possible impact of an exemption.


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