Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

April 11, 2012

Don’t lose it over LOST

VALDOSTA — The Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) is a one cent sales tax that offsets property taxes, which are rolled back annually to reflect the collection amount.

The county is required by law to call the meeting every 10 years to negotiate with each city within the county’s borders to determine how much each municipality will receive from the tax.

With the tax collections in the last 10 years lagging behind initial projections, the amounts collected were lower than anticipated, but are showing signs of improvement. With some optimism regarding future projections and with extensive wish lists for local projects in each city, all entities understand that the process is not going to be an easy one. Ten years ago, the negotiations became very contentious and ended up in arbitration, with no one entirely pleased with the outcome.

On Monday, Lowndes County hosted the initial negotiation meeting and proposed that all governments stay with the amounts they received in the last go-round. They gave the cities until next Monday to give a yea or nay to the proposal.

With new leadership in each city since 2002, and in the county, it’s probably not feasible to expect everyone to simply take what is offered and go away. But it’s also not feasible for the cities to expect the county to give up too much, considering that the gain of a person and a household in any city is also a gain in the county as well.

So if the initial proposal is not accepted and negotiations begin, it’s not necessarily a bad thing as all mayors are expected to protect the interests of the citizens. Where it may take a wrong turn, however, is if the negotiations dissolve into the battles and name calling which they did in 2002. That’s not necessary and is uncalled for.

All leadership in the cities and the county are bright, professional individuals, and while they may disagree, they need to remember to do so in a courteous manner. It is guaranteed that the outcome will never please all five cities and the county, but the outcome should at least be palatable and reached in a civilized manner.

When local governments disagree and fight amongst themselves, all it does is create a negative impression in the state and other communities. We need to keep our image positive, and reinforce an image that, despite disagreements, everyone works well together for the benefit of all, not just their own fiefdoms. To all government officials, pretend that the economic future of Lowndes County depends on the cooperation and image portrayed between all governments involved — because it does.

Text Only
What We Think
  • Regional shopping makes sense

    This weekend is the tax-free holiday in Georgia.

    July 31, 2014

  • Focus now on what lies within

    Forty-three years ago the federal mandate to desegregate Valdosta City Schools was necessary.

    July 30, 2014

  • The Times belongs to you

    The Valdosta Daily Times belongs to you. As we move forward with new leadership in our newsroom, we want you to know about our continued commitment to the communities we serve.

    July 28, 2014

  • The art of plenty to do

    In Sunday’s paper, readers found an extensive list of shows, exhibits, concerts and more for the upcoming arts seasons in Valdosta-Lowndes County.

    July 27, 2014

  • The power of One

    Christine Batson wondered the same thing that many people wonder.

    July 26, 2014

  • Thumbs Up

    THUMBS UP: To Air Force Lt. Col. David Rayman. The 75th Fighter Squadron commander recently logged 3,000 flight hours in the A-10C Thunderbolt II. A rare feat. In presenting a Moody Air Force Base story on his accomplishment in The Times, it’s good to see the face and know the name of one of the many pilots who cross our South Georgia skies. Congratulations on 3,000 and thank you for your service.

    July 26, 2014

  • Closing another summer chapter

    The South Georgia Regional Library brings its 2014 summer reading program to a close this weekend with an event that celebrates readers and writers.

    July 24, 2014

  • Countdown for voter apathy

    If you don’t think your vote counts, talk to Ellis Black and John Page today.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vote to remove signs

    Congratulations to the winners in the primary runoff election Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Runoff election counts today

    Today is an election day that started just a little more than two months ago.

    July 21, 2014

Top News

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results