But they’re still undecided on if they’ll recoup the loss with a local excise tax.
“This is not a recommendation or a prediction of what the board will do,” County Manager Blaine Williams said Monday. “I’m modeling it as if we lost the money, just to see what the effects would be.”
Floyd County Commissioners convene at 8 a.m. today for the first of several budget workshops. Board members plan a zero-based look at funding for three departments: police, public works and animal control.
Rome Mayor Evie McNiece said the city also is working with budget projections that don’t include the revenue.
“But that doesn’t mean anything,” she said. “We’re still doing our analysis on how it would affect the city financially.”
The Georgia General Assembly eliminated both the state’s 4-percent tax and the local tax on energy, phasing it out 25 percent a year beginning in January. The exemption applies to any form of energy used in manufacturing.
Utilities don’t break down their sales tax payments by customer category, however, so local officials have been gathering estimates from whatever sources will provide them.
McNiece said Rome could be facing the loss of $300,000 to $500,000 a year when the exemption is fully implemented.
Williams said the latest loss estimate for the county is $80,000 the first year, rising incrementally to $320,000 a year when the tax is completely gone.
The legislation allowing the local excise tax also allows Georgia cities to impose it on industries within their borders even if their county takes no action. Rome City Manager John Bennett said the ball is in Floyd County’s court for now.
“If the county does it, the city would definitely do it because otherwise the county would get all the tax,” Bennett said. “If the county doesn’t do it, I don’t know what we’ll do.”
An early October meeting at the Greater Rome Chamber of Commerce had economic development officials urging no action, to make the county more attractive to new industry.
It’s expected the talks will resume after today’s election, where two County Commission seats are on the ballot.