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Agreement Reached With County On Sales Tax

Released November 11, 2022 04:55 PM
During a special called meeting held November 9, the Alpharetta City Council approved a resolution that defines the distribution of Local Option Sales Tax proceeds among Fulton County and the 15 cities within its borders.  A similar resolution was approved by the Fulton County Commission on November 2 and has either been approved or is under consideration by the other cities.

The agreement effectively ends the stalemate that has existed between the cities and the county since July and that threatened to end Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) collections.  The loss of the program would have removed more than $3 billion in revenues from local government budgets over the next ten years.  For the 2023 Fiscal Year, LOST generated $18 million or roughly 20% of the City of Alpharetta’s general fund revenues.

By law, the cities and the county must renegotiate the distribution of LOST funds every ten years.  Fulton County entered negotiations this year demanding that their share of LOST proceeds be increased from the current level of 4.98% to 35%.  That would have stripped approximately $95 million from the 15 cities annually and resulted in significant property tax increases or service cuts in the municipalities that represent all but about 900 of the people living in Fulton County.

The agreement that has tentatively been reached relies on projected growth in overall LOST proceeds to increase Fulton County’s share incrementally to 12.5% while ensuring that the 15 cities do not see their LOST revenues fall from current levels.