This date was set during a short session Tuesday when officials from Polk County, Cedartown, Rockmart and Aragon gathered to review the process.
The law regarding LOST funds requires counties and qualified cities to renegotiate the distribution agreement within two years of each decennial census.
Money collected from the sales tax go into an entity’s general fund and are not tied to projects like Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).
Currently, the distribution for Polk is: County 54.26 percent, Cedartown 29.98 percent, Rockmart 12.30 and Aragon 3.46.
“We are all facing the same issues with declining revenues and number crunching to meet budgets,” said Rockmart Mayor Steve Miller.
“Every dollar counts, including that generated from LOST,” he said. “However, no one should get greedy. Each governmental entity must consider the impact disagreement can have on our citizens when we come to the table with a proposal.”
Chairman Cleve Hartley, Polk County Board of Commissioners and Aragon Mayor Ken Suffridge agreed that LOST dollars help “pay the bills.”
Polk and its municipalities annually receive about $5 million from LOST.
“If that money is not available, the decision would be made to reduce services or raise taxes,” said County Manager Clinton Lester.
The LOST clock starts ticking once the County initiates the process by notifying cities of a first meeting. Thereafter, the Department of Revenue is notified that it has been held.
After the first meeting, those involved have 60 days to agree on a new distribution formula. Service delivery agreements can be made part of the negotiations.
All at Tuesday’s meeting agreed to keep negotiations open and professional and work toward a positive resolution.
The group included Hartley and Marshelle Thaxton, Polk County Board of Commissioners; Scotty Tillery, Cedartown City Commission; Miller, Rockmart; and Suffridge, Aragon. Others attending were Clinton Lester, Matt Denton, Polk; Robbie Rokovitz, Amy Orebaugh and Bill Fann, Cedartown and Jeff Ellis, Rockmart.