They’ve decided, well ahead of the Aug. 29 deadline, to leave unchanged the way they divide up revenue from the 1-cent local option sales tax.
“This demonstrates our local governments’ ability to work together, to move forward together,” Rome City Commissioner Jamie Doss said.
LOST collections are used to offset local property taxes.
Under the agreement expected to be ratified within a week by separate boards, Floyd County still gets 56.5 percent of the money, Rome keeps 41.7 percent and Cave Spring gets 1.8 percent.
During the previous 12 years that’s meant about $104 million for Floyd’s coffers, $76 million for Rome and $3 million for Cave Spring, according to a Georgia Municipal Association analysis.
Georgia counties and their cities must renegotiate their LOST distribution formulas following each U.S. Census. The process is contentious enough for the GMA and Association County Commissioners of Georgia to devise training classes for their members.
But Floyd County Commission Chairman Irwin Bagwell said Tuesday it’s inefficient to approach the matter as adversaries.
“It’s like former Rome City Commissioner Napoleon Fielder always said: Working together works,” Bagwell said.
Land swaps and contract renewals
The Rome-Floyd County joint services committee plans to meet again in about a month, to finalize inter-governmental agreements covering the countywide radio system and the Emergency Operations Center.
The EOC facility on East 12th Street will house the Floyd County Emergency Management Agency, the Rome-Floyd County Fire Department headquarters, the fire prevention center and a back-up 911 center.
Assistant City Manager Sammy Rich said construction could wrap up “within days,” although it will likely be September before all the entities are completely moved in. He and Assistant County Manager Noah Simon are drafting a contract detailing shared responsibilities.
The governments also are working out land swaps pertaining to the Town Green, Third Avenue Parking Deck, Chief John Ross Memorial Bridge and the new Riverfront Plaza.
“We plan to have the agreements worked out by the next meeting, so we each have a half-interest,” City Manager John Bennett said.
County Manager Blaine Williams said other contracts governing water sales, inmate housing and recreation services also are up for renewal in the coming months.