Last night the Elbert County Board of Commissioners met for their regular monthly meeting.
The commissioners discussed how House Bill 386, which was adopted during the most recent State Assembly, has exempted the tax on electricity and energy used in manufacturing, and how or if the county should implement an optional Excise Tax, which was written into HB 386.
County Attorney Bill Daughtry said that if the county decided to implement the Excise Tax, that it would be a phase in process.
“It will be on a phase in basis. We would only get 25% the first year, 50% the next year, 75% in the third year, and in the fourth year we would receive the full amount of the two percent that we would otherwise lose.” said Daughtry.
The Excise Tax is a two percent tax on energy used by manufacturers to help local governments recoup some SPLOST funds that may be lost. County Commissioner Chair Tommy Lyon said this option puts the county in a tough spot.
“It makes us look like the bad guys again, but makes the state look like the good guys. On the otherside of that, if we install this, what happens if the counties around us don’t install this, they would then have an advantage in recruitment.” said Lyon.
According to County Administrator Bob Thomas, one year of collecting the Excise tax would equate to about $83,000 in money collected for the county.
In the end the commissioners decided to table this item to allow for more discussion before a decision is made.
In other matters, the commissioners approved the purchase of sixty radios for the Elbert County Fire Department, and also approved the upgrade to the new 9-1-1 CAD System. Both of those votes passed unanimously.