Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

October 16, 2013

LOST deadline looming

Lowndes, cities have until Thursday to agree

VALDOSTA — Lowndes County and the five municipalities have one last chance to agree on the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) or the tax will end.

Following a Supreme Court decision overturning judicial review as an option, the cities' lawsuit against the county became a moot issue. Based on a recommendation from the state Attorney General’s office, the Department of Revenue has given the approximately 21 counties affected a deadline of 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Lowndes County Commission met in a called meeting Tuesday and voted to approve continuing the tax at the current allocations, 58 percent for the county and 42 percent for the five cities. A letter from County Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter and a copy of the official certificate to be filed was hand delivered to the City of Valdosta after the meeting.

“It’s up to Valdosta and the cities to decide how to divide the 42 percent. They can keep it the same as it is now, or they can change it, but the county’s portion is set at 58 percent,” said County Manager Joe Pritchard.

With so little time to reach a decision, Slaughter said there is no time to negotiate over the division of the 1

percent sales tax.

The letter states, “This is the Board of Commissioners’ last and best offer. The Board of Commissioners will not meet again on the matter.”

All five cities — Valdosta, Remerton, Lake Park, Dasher and Hahira — will have to hold called meetings to vote on the issue and each mayor must sign the certificate before submitting it to the state.

If the cities don’t meet the Thursday deadline, the Department of Revenue will stop collecting the tax and collections will end. There is a possibility that it could be revived in a referendum at a future date, and the General Assembly may make changes to the LOST Act in the next session, but the Thursday deadline is not negotiable.

Pritchard said, “We understand that Dougherty, Tift, Ware, Berrien and Turner counties have already reached an agreement and submitted it to the state. We are optimistic that Lowndes will join them.”

The 10-year LOST tax was set to expire on Dec. 30, 2012, but was allowed to continue being collected by the Department of Revenue while the lawsuit was in the court system. The Supreme Court decision ended the lawsuit option, the state has already collected almost 10 months of the tax this year, and Slaughter said it’s “in everyone’s best interest to agree so the tax collections continue and we can move past this issue.”

The money collected from LOST is actually a rollback tax and not an additional tax. Property taxes are rolled back each year based on prior year collections of the tax.

Text Only
Local News
  • 140414-valdostaboe001 copy.jpg Valdosta Board of Education reviews finances

    Valdosta City Schools Board of Education celebrated many successes Monday night, discussed budget information and heard an announcement of intent from a hopeful charter school.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • dancing with the stars copy.jpg Dancing with Valdosta Stars raises scholarship money

    Valdosta State University Music and Theatre & Dance’s Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta presented a fine dance show this past weekend.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • N0041120.jpg Passover: A nation reborn

    “And you shall tell your children that on that day the Lord has took you out from the house of bondage.” — The Passover Hagadah

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-DFCS001.jpg Luncheon recognizes DFACS employees

    Dozens of Lowndes County Division of Family and Children Services employees gathered Monday at Olympic Park for a barbecue lunch in recognition of their hard work.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-Sewage002.jpg Fla. calls for Valdosta boycott

    Florida residents are calling for a boycott of Valdosta regarding the sewage spills, with areas affected downstream increasingly distressed over the millions of gallons that have polluted the waters of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee River Basin during the last several years.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • police-lights-backgrounds-for-powerpoint.jpg ‘Dangerous’ fugitive caught

    A fugitive from Ohio wanted for attempted murder and a number of assault and robbery charges was captured by Valdosta police Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • 140412-TownHallMtg_2 copy 2.jpg Rep. Sharper holds town hall meeting

    Saturday morning, State Rep. Dexter Sharper held a town hall meeting at Crossing Jordan Baptist Church to meet with concerned citizens of Valdosta, share his feelings toward bills on the governor’s desk and to discuss the upcoming Let Us Make Man event.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140412-EasterEggHunt10 copy 2.jpg Kids have an egg-ceptional time

    The Therapeutic Division of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority held hosted the “Egg-ceptional” Easter Egg Hunt for Special Needs Children Saturday.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police_Car_2 2 copy 2.jpg Numbers show overall drop in crime in Valdosta

     Responding to what he believes is a public perception that crime is out of control, Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress presented statistics to the city council this week demonstrating an overall decline in crime for more than a decade and said the perception may be due to his department’s openness with the media.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140410-Sewage001.jpg City sewage woes continue

    Calculating the total gallons of treated and untreated sewage that the City of Valdosta has spilled into the Withlacoochee River and its tributaries is difficult because it has been going on for over 25 to 30 years.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results