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First measure of excise tax seen

One commissioner wants to omit collection altogether

POSTED: May 5, 2013 12:28 a.m.
 

A look at first quarter collections on an energy excise tax had one Forsyth County commissioner interested in eliminating it.

Commissioner Todd Levent wanted to start the process of undoing the county’s collections, like those of the state, on Thursday. But his four colleagues took no action on the matter, opting to await future revenue reports.

Levent previously opposed the local levy, which the commission approved 4-1 in December.

This year, Georgia began its four-year phase out of a sales tax on energy used in manufacturing by 25 percent annually. The move was intended to attract manufacturing business.

Though the state portion will be discontinued, counties and cities had the option to recoup their local sales tax collections by levying the tax through a phase-in, which Forsyth and the city of Cumming chose to do last year.

Finance director David Gruen presented the first quarter’s numbers to the commission during its meeting Thursday.

The county and city have collected $9,853 in three months at the 25 percent collection level, Gruen said, with Forsyth’s portion totaling $8,814.

That projects to about $35,000 for the county in the first year, and if no growth happened about $141,000 in the fourth year, when the collections reached the full amount locally that the county had been receiving from the state.

Gruen estimated that number could be $150,000 to $200,000 by year four, depending on industry growth.

Chairman Pete Amos said the commission would review future reports on the excise tax revenue.

Commissioners had asked for the first quarter report as part of the local levy approval in December, since the revenue lost by doing away with the tax was largely unknown at that time.

 

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