After months of negotiation and the filing of a petition for arbitration in the Fayette County Superior Court, the negotiating teams for the various jurisdictions have agreed on a distribution plan for Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) dollars.
While the Peachtree City council was meeting to determine if they’d accept the percentage they were deemed eligible for, Fayetteville and Tyrone also met and both entities approved the distribution.
Currently, the distribution percentage is 50 to Fayette County and 50 to the qualified municipalities within Fayette County which includes Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Tyrone and Brooks. Between 2000 and 2010, the population shifts began to favor Fayetteville and Tyrone as a result of their overall percentage of growth. According to Georgia law, that would mean those jurisdictions would receive a larger portion of the overall allocation if they took the absent status. However, for a more equitable distribution, the two entities worked closer with Peachtree City and the county.
The proposal will reallocate those funds at a 51.5 split for the municipalities and 48.5 for the county. The change will be phased in over the course of five years, from 2013 to 2018.
Peachtree city gets the largest chunk of the money by far among the four cities. In 2013, Peachtree city will receive 31.7 percent, followed by Fayetteville (12.25 percent), Tyrone (5.5 percent) and Brooks (0.54 percent).
Brooks and Peachtree City will see a slight decrease in those percentages by the end of the six-year phase in period, with Brooks' share reduced to .445 percent and Peachtree City's share reduced to 29.656 percent. Fayetteville and Tyrone will bump up a little, to 15 percent for Fayetteville and 6.4 percent for Tyrone. By 2022, the end of the agreement, the shares will be: county (48.5 percent), Peachtree City (30.66 percent), Fayetteville (14.23 percent), Tyrone (6.14%), and Brooks (0.467 percent.)
The proposal represents a cooperative effort among all of the parties involved in the negotiation, according to city attorney Ted Meeker. The proposal will show the County’s percentage being reduced until 2018 and, over the course of the 10-year period Peachtree City, Fayetteville, Tyrone and Brooks will alter their percentages in
order to provide both an equitable division of the revenue as well as minimize the impact of such allocation on either jurisdiction s budget.
The result will be a decline in LOST revenue of about $190,000. The city had already budgeted for a $160,000 shortfall, or approximately $68,000 per year over the course of five years.
(Ed note: this story was contributed to by writers Josh Akeman and Danny Harrison)