MINUTES

SPECIAL CALLED MEETING

CITY OF BRUNSWICK COMMISSION

GLYNN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

W. HAROLD PATE BUILDING

1725 REYNOLDS STREET, 2ND FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM

MONDAY, MAY 7, 2012 AT 1:30 PM

 

PRESENT:                     Richard Strickland, Chairman, County Commissioner

                                    Clyde Taylor, Vice Chairman, County Commissioner

Mary Hunt, County Commissioner

                                    Bob Coleman, County Commissioner

Bryan Thompson, City of Brunswick Mayor

                                    James Brooks, City of Brunswick Mayor Pro Tem

                                    Johnny Cason, City Commissioner

                                    Cornell Harvey, City Commissioner

                                    Julie Martin, City Commissioner

                                   

ALSO PRESENT:           Alan Ours, County Administrator

                                    Aaron Mumford, County Attorney

William Weeks, City Manager

                                    Melissa Cruthirds, Assistant City Attorney

                                    Naomi Atkinson, City Clerk

 

Discussion and consideration of the following:

 

1.         Renegotiation proceedings with the City of Brunswick for the distribution of the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) proceeds.

City Presentation

County Presentation

In 1975 the State of Georgia adopted legislation to allow counties the ability to levy a one cent sales tax to be dedicated to rolling back property taxes.  Since 1975 the statute governing LOST has been amended several times.  The current statute requires the tax to be shared between a county and the city or cities within a county based on an agreement between the local governments.  Every County that has a LOST is required to renegotiate the distribution of the tax with the cities within its borders following each decennial census.

 

                        Mr. Mumford provided a brief overview of guidelines of how the proceedings will potentially occur.  He stated the current certificate the City and County have been operating under for the last 10 years will expire December 31, 2012.  If a new certificate is not submitted by December 30, 2012, with the exception of it going before Superior Court, the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) will expire.  The City and County are required to commence with negotiations by July 1, 2012. This meeting began the negotiations.  On April 20, 2012, the County issued a letter to the City of Brunswick and that officially began the proceedings. As required by state law, a copy of the letter was sent to the Department of Revenue.

                        Mr. Mumford stated the negotiations were characterized into three different components, which he referred to as the 60/60/30 plan:

 

1)      City and County negotiate a new certificate within 60 days

2)      If the City and County cannot reach a resolution within the 60 days, the parties will enter into a non-binding arbitration or mediation alternative dispute resolution process where they have another 60 days to reach a resolution.

3)      If no resolution is made within that 60 day period, each party will have a chance to petition Superior Court within 30 days of arbitration. The judge would be asked to choose a side, without modification. The order will be final, subject to grounds for appeal.  He stated the parties can agree to shorten the time period if they so choose.

                        Mayor Thompson introduced Phil Sutton, of Sutton Consulting, LLC, who has worked with the City of Brunswick in gathering information regarding the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST)   Mr. Sutton provided a presentation on the City of Brunswick’s view of the LOST Negotiation criteria.  He stated the City’s approach was to try matching up the eight (8) criteria with the central theme and think of ways to measure.   Below is the City’s proposed LOST distribution method:

              

Legal

Reference

O.C.G.A. 48-8-89 (b)

Central theme of each criteria

Selected Method of Measurement

Brunswick % share

Glynn County % share

Source of Data                                

Criteria 1

Central Business District

Daytime Population

38.2%

61.8%

2005 -2009 US Census Economic Survey

Criteria 2

Resident population

Residential Population

19.3%

80.7%

2011 Census Economic

Criteria 3

Existing service delivery responsibility

General Fund Expenses

19.4%

80.6%

Financial Audits

Criteria 4

Short-term and long term debt

Not directly measurable

 

 

 

Criteria 5

Point of sale

Sales, shipments and receipts

59.8%

40.2%

US Census Economic Report 2001 & DOR Commodity Report and 1997 Service Delivery Act cover this issue

Criteria 6

Intergovernmental Agreements

Not directly measurable

 

 

1997 Service Delivery Act cover this issue

Criteria 7

Tax Equity

County Financial Statements

3.6%

-3.6%

2010 CAFR

Criteria 8

Service Delivery and Funding Strategy

Not directly measurable

 

 

1997 Service Delivery Act cover this issue

Total

 

          100.000%

         37.8%

    62.2%

 

 

The City of Brunswick proposed the distribution should be Glynn County at 62.2% and the City at 37.8%.

 

Mr. Ours provided an overview of the County’s perspective of the matter.  He stated the County had also considered the eight criteria. Handouts were distributed which outlined the following:

 

  1. The service delivery responsibilities of each political subdivision to the population served by the political jurisdiction and served during normal business hours, conventions, trade shows, athletic events and the inherent value to a community of central business district and the unincorporated areas of the county and the obligation of all residents of the county for the maintenance and prosperity of the central business district and the unincorporated areas of the county;
  2. The service delivery responsibility of each political subdivision to the resident population of the subdivision;
  3. The existing service delivery strategy responsibility of each political subdivision;
  4. The effect of a change in sales tax distribution on the ability of each political subdivision to meet its short-term and long-term debt;
  5. The point of sale and use which generates the tax to be apportioned;
  6. The existence of intergovernmental agreements among and between the political subdivisions;
  7. The use by any political subdivision of property taxes and other revenues from some taxpayers to subsidize the cost of services provided to other taxpayers of the levying subdivision; and
  8. Any coordinated plan of county and municipal service delivery and financing.

 

In determining a fair distribution of the Local Option Sales Tax, the eight criteria as outlined above were considered.  As a result of this consideration, Glynn County’s share of the Local Option Sales Tax should be 81% and the share for the City of Brunswick should be 19%.

 

Commissioner Taylor expressed he did not understand how the City came up with its point of sales; he did not understand how the City generated the amount of revenue stated.  Commissioner Strickland questioned the source of data.  Mr. Sutton said the data derived from the US Census Bureau survey. Commissioner Hunt mentioned the survey data provided by the City was dated 2007.  In response, Mr. Sutton stated it was the latest data available.

 

Commissioner Strickland concluded in saying the County would not agree to the 37/63 split, the commissioners felt it is unreasonable and the data did not support such. He said the County would review the City’s eight criteria and review the presentation and, based on the proposal given, the County may consider the possibility of increasing the proposed 19%.

           

                        Commissioner Strickland said another meeting was scheduled for Monday, May 28, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. in the W. Harold Pate Building to discuss further. 

 

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

The Board did not hold an executive session during this meeting.

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

 

 

                                                                                    ____________________________

Richard Strickland, Chairman

                                                                                    Board of Commissioners

                                                                                    Glynn County, Georgia

Attest:

 

 

_____________________________

Cindee S. Overstreet, Clerk