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Hiram to get smaller share of LOST funds
by Tom Spigolon
November 28, 2012 04:36 PM | 1715 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hiram City Council members learned last week they would receive a smaller share of sales tax funds from Dallas than they believed in the decennial sharing agreement between Paulding’s city and county governments.

Dallas will receive 10.6 percent — up from 9.5 percent — and Hiram 4.0 percent — up from 3.34 — in the final agreement on a split of local option sales tax funds between the two cities and the county following the 2010 federal census.

The county government, which oversees the unincorporated areas, will receive about 85 percent, down from its current 87.16 percent. The tax generated $13.9 million in Paulding in 2011.

Dallas City Council last week approved the higher percentage, officials said. Because Dallas is the county seat, it controls how the cities’ share is split, said city attorney Kelly Hundley.

“What got accomplished couldn’t have been done without the cities getting together,” he said.

Shoppers in Paulding County pay 7 percent sales tax, of which 1 percent is for LOST. The sales tax is used in part to help local governments statewide offset the need for higher property taxes.

A number of criteria is used to determine how the funds are split, including how the cities and the county compare in points of sale; service delivery responsibility and strategies; daytime populations and full-time resident populations.

A state mediator determined the amounts the county and cities would get. The cities then were to determine how their share would be divided.

Hiram officials believed they would receive a 4.22-percent share and Dallas 10.38 percent following negotiations with Dallas officials, Mayor Doris Devey said.

Dallas Mayor Boyd Austin, however, called the 4.22 percent share a “proposal” by Hiram officials he took from a meeting with them.

“There was not an agreement between us,” he said. “Everyone understood it had to be voted on by the respective councils.”

Austin said he then took the plan to Dallas City Council members.

“When it was presented to the [Dallas] council they did not follow it,” he said. “I can only do so much.”

City Manager Robbie Rokovitz said the city of Hiram will get about $568,000 annually rather than an expected $594,000.

He told council members the city still planned to work on city projects including downtown revitalization.

“We’re going to keep moving forward with or without Dallas,” he said.

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