Posted: Thursday, December 20th 2012 at 9:19pm
Forsyth County approves energy excise tax
By Bill Johnson Access Insider
CUMMING – By a very shaky 4-1 vote, Forsyth County Commissioners approved a controversial energy excise tax Thursday that Gov. Nathan Deal says is a barrier to economic development and that state lawmakers voted to end, effective Jan. 1.
Even as they voted for the tax on second reading, some commissioners expressed reservations. Patrick Bell said he's concerned the tax could be a deterrent to companies considering moving to Forsyth County.
Chairman Jim Boff introduced an amendment requiring staff to review collection of the tax and submit an assessment to commissioners during the first meeting in April.
Commissioner Todd Levent registered the lone no vote.
The county entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Cumming in September agreeing to collect the tax. County Attorney Ken Jarrard expressed concern that the county might be held legally liable if they breeched the contract by voting no.
He added, however, that commissioners could approve the tax now and reevaluate it after the New Year. If they were unhappy with it then, they could vote against it with no legal liability.
Forsyth County Tea Party Chairman Hal Schneider spoke against the tax during the public hearing saying there were too many uncertainties.
“They have no idea who they’re going to collect it from,” he said. “They haven’t specified the requirements to identify the companies that will be required to pay it. They have no method for collecting it. There are just a lot of questions that haven’t been answered by the county.”
In other business, commissioners approved application for the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant to the Georgia Department of Transportation in the amount of $1,420,397.19 with a required county match of $426,119.16.
Commissioners also approved the reappointment of the law firm of Jarrard and Davis as the county’s attorney through Dec. 31, 2014.
Thursday also marked the final meeting for outgoing Commissioner Patrick Bell. Boff read a resolution and presented Bell a plaque honoring him for his service to the citizens of Forsyth County.
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