Floyd County

Floyd County leaders wrangled Tuesday over the imposition of an energy excise tax that would draw some $650,000 into their coffers this year while at the same time debating $50,000 in cuts to local nonprofits.

The Floyd County Commission has made no decision on the energy excise tax. Off county books for years, the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing is estimated to bring in $650,000 this year and $1.2 million next year.

Commissioners are hesitant to impose the tax, citing the lure it provides to draw industry to the county. The discussion came as part of the county’s ongoing efforts to pass its 2015 budget, expected next week. Part of that budget includes funding for several nonprofits, including Star House.

Commissioner Irwin Bagwell suggested cutting those nonprofits, excepting Harbor House, by 25 percent each. That would amount to $50,000.

Wayne Smithson, director of Star House, urged commissioners to avoid cutting his budget. He’s asked this year for $25,000 from the county.

“We operate a no-frills program,” Smithson said. “We pinch pennies.”

Star House assists people with addiction problems and finds them jobs with the goal of reuniting sober men with their families.