Floyd County’s January sales tax collections took a hit when the Georgia Department of Revenue issued a refund of nearly $800,000 to an unnamed business.
According to Floyd County Finance Director Susie Gass, $264,400 of that amount was pulled from special purpose, local option sales tax revenue. The SPLOST loss will be shared by the county, Rome and Cave Spring on a pro-rated basis.
Funds also were pulled from local option sales tax revenue. Voters approved the permanent 1-cent LOST to offset property taxes.
According to County Manager Jamie McCord, the county refund amount was $148,500, Rome lost $109,000 and Cave Spring lost $4,700.
The January collection from the schools’ education local option sales tax also was reduced. Floyd County Schools had to refund $165,800 in ELOST funds and Rome City Schools’ check was docked by $98,600.
The total tax refund was $791,697.
The last time the county was hit by a tax refund was in 2016, where all the governmental entities lost a combined $3.9 million in funds.
“We had a month where we actually had the SPLOST funds decrease to zero,” McCord said.
Despite this being the lowest January collection in 10 years for Floyd County, McCord said that since the hit happened so early in the fiscal year, the county has time to recover and catch up.
“It’s all about the timing of the situation and how much it hits,” the county manager said.
According to McCord, the Georgia Department of Revenue doesn’t have to notify the counties about the decrease unless it is 10% or more than the annual budget.
“We budgeted the year with this possibility in mind so it’s a good thing it’s early,” McCord said.
In the past several months, the 2017 SPLOST collection has been hitting “dead on” for the projected funds and that one hit shouldn’t affect the projects too much.
The county plans to begin wrapping its 2013 SPLOST projects in March, which includes a case management system for the courts, Phase I for Floyd County Jail improvements and a runway extension for Richard B. Russell Regional Airport.
The 2017 SPLOST will be finishing its first year of collections in March and McCord believes the SPLOST advisory board will be planning for a meeting sometime after that to start on the upcoming projects.
Assistant County Manager Gary Burkhalter said that the county will be monitoring the situation and will make adjustments to the budget if necessary.