Albany says County misused SPLOST money - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany says County misused SPLOST money

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May 16, 2006

Albany - Albany city commissioners say Dougherty County leaders improperly used sales tax money and should reimburse the City millions of dollars.

Commissioner Bo Dorough says in 1999, voters approved using $22-million in sales tax money for city and county storm water drainage and recreational improvements. But when sales tax collections weren't as high as expected in 2000 and 2001, the County, who then controlled all SPLOST money, voted to reduce that allocation. That halted some city recreation and storm water drainage projects.

In 2002, the sales tax revenue went up and the county earned $5-million in interest. Dorough says instead of giving that money to the City for the cut projects, the County used it on county road projects.

"The reductions were from City projects," said Commissioner Bo Dorough. "The County funded every county project to the full budget. It's only fair that when the revenues exceeded the most pessimistic projections, those funds would be restored to City projects."

County leaders contend the city and county never had a signed agreement so they can use the money for other needed projects. City commissioners voted to ask the County to reimburse them for the cut funding.

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