Albany- Businesses in Dougherty County, from mom and pop shops to big box retailers, are paying some of the highest inventory taxes in the state. For every $10,000 worth of goods on their shelves, retailers in Dougherty County must pay $161.84 in county inventory taxes.
Criticism from business owners may lead to some tax law changes at the Gold Dome this legislative session.
January is a dreaded month for Wynn and Company owner Debbie Bullock. "You have to sit down and go through everything in your store. You find out how much inventory you have left over," she said.
Bullock knows left over inventory means lost profit and more tax. "You have to fill those dreaded papers out because you have to pay inventory tax in Dougherty County."
Dougherty County has the second highest inventory taxes in the state, ranked only below Columbus-Muscogee County. "I'm dreading to hear just how much I'm going to owe," said Bullock.
Since Georgia is one of only fourteen states with inventory taxes, Bullock says potential retailers may choose to take their business elsewhere.
"When retailers find out that Dougherty County is at the top of the list, that might be discouraging for them. That might keep them from coming into the area."
A more business-friendly climate is the goal of a Woodstock lawmaker's bill to prohibit inventory tax. But some local government leaders argue they rely on the taxes to pay for services from public recreation to road repairs.
Bullock says she be keeping on eye on the lawmakers as they debate the issue. For now, she must slash prices to get those left over items off her shelves and tax books.