After the state phases out a present sales tax, Catoosa stands to lose revenue, but it could be supplemented by imposing the excise tax.
Although the meeting was “informational” and no action was taken, most representatives don’t favor the tax. The general consensus, for the most part, was that the modest amount of revenue generated wouldn't be worth the risk of making the area less inviting to potential manufacturers.
According to Catoosa County attorney Skip Patty, officials in Whitfield, Walker and Gordon counties have im-plied they will not be imposing the tax, so a tax in Catoosa might be just enough to turn inquiring clients elsewhere.
“I think it (the tax) sends a message to industries as to our county's perspective on industry,” Patty said.
Catoosa County financial officer Carl Henson offered a sample of an estimate to the group with figures based on the $2.3 million taxable electricity sold to manufacturers by North Georgia Electric Membership Cooperative (NGEMC). According to Henson, Catoosa (and cities) could lose a total of approximately $45,000 in revenue. Henson clarified that NGEMC was only one of several taxable entities, but the numbers probably wouldn't change much across the board.
“Even if you doubled that number,” Henson explained, “you're still not looking at a whole lot of money.”
Cities and counties have until Dec. 31 to vote on the issue.
Catoosa commissioner Keith Greene, who said he wanted “no part of any new tax,” requested that Henson pre-pare a more detailed estimate of the various gas and electric companies who would be involved. Plans were made to reconvene sometime in October for a formal vote.
Sales tax breakdown in Catoosa County
• 4 percent goes to the state.
• 1 percent is local-option sales tax, or LOST, which funds general operations.
• 1 percent funds special-purpose local-option sales tax, or SPLOST, which pays for special projects.
• 1 percent is for education special-purpose local-option sales tax, or ESPLOST.