City of Albany and Dougherty Co. negotiate SPLOST Split
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) -The City of Albany and Dougherty County are still battling how the SPLOST fund will be divided between the two.
Dougherty County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting Friday in response to a counterproposal submitted by city commissioners.
Special Purpose Local Option Sales tax – or SPLOST -- is used for community projects such as fixing roads and public facilities.
Originally, the city wanted a 70-30 split, while the county wanted it to be 64-36.
The city’s counter-proposal included two new options: Option One being a 67/33 split. Option two would be the 64-36 split the county wanted, but with one major stipulation.
The city’s $15 million dollar sewer project would have be covered with shared SPLOST money before the split is made.
“This is not an option, and this would be remarkably financially devastating to the county, and Frankly I think we’d all end up getting sued,” said Chris Cohilas, Dougherty County Commission Chairman.
While County commissioners were hesitant on option two, they took into consideration the city’s sewage project which Cohilias said is important to residents in both the county and city.
“The county established consensus around either making a direct allocation towards the city’s sewer project at an unspecified amount at this time through what SPLOST designations and/ or is considering other options all of which will be contingent on the LOST proceeds percentage split remaining the same,” he said.
The County commissioners are hoping the city will come to an agreement by Monday . If not, the County would take things into its own hands, which would hurt revenue for both the County and the City.
“Without SPLOST everything is cash money, and that cash money drives the train and we don’t have cash money, so it’s going to be crucial and the city as well to look in terms of coming into a joint agreement,” said Anthony Jones, District 6 Dougherty County Commissioner.
Monday is the deadline for the city and county to come to an agreement, but negotiations won’t stop there. City leaders will have to determine LOST funds. Voting for that will happen in December.
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