Madison County Industrial Authority representatives will ask county commissioners to allow them to keep the $48,000 in motor vehicle tax revenues that county auditors recently said should have gone into the county’s general fund, instead of to the IDA.
The authority discussed the matter at their business meeting Jan. 19.
The IDA agreed at its December business meeting to pay the money back, but has since reconsidered after BOC chairman Anthony Dove, county auditors, IDA attorney Victor Johnson and IDA president Marvin White met to discuss the issue.
IDA chairman Bruce Azevedo said the authority needs the money, which was already in the budget for 2015, in order to pay its bills, which consist of several debt service payments to the Georgia Environmental Facilities Agency (GEFA) for water line construction in the county.
The confusion over the funds comes with the new disbursement rules involving Georgia’s new TAVT (Title Ad Valorem Tax), which replaced the vehicle sales tax and the annual “birthday tax” on motor vehicles.
Under the old tax system, the tax commissioner disbursed ad valorem taxes, based on the county’s formula, directly to the cities, county, school system and to the IDA, since it has a 50-year contract with the county to operate the county water system and a mill of property tax is levied on its behalf. Now, the tax commissioner disburses the funds to the cities, school system and county only. There was no provision made for authorities in the TAVT, leaving those funds to go instead into the county’s general fund.
“The county should continue to pass on these funds for the benefit of the water department, not the IDA,” Azevedo said. “We have a contract with the county to run the water department and pay those bills…It just does not make sense why we would not continue to get that.”
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