August 2, 2022–1:30 p.m.
Negotiators have less than 24 days to come up with a formula to distribute local sales tax revenues or the matter goes to arbitration.
The City of Rome is seeking 51%, up from the current 41.7% based on point of sale collection numbers.
“At a retreat, we had a lengthy discussion with the remainder of the commissioners,” said Rome City Commissioner Mark Cochran. “They feel strongly about the consultant, the data he has provided, and the position that he suggested that we take. So, at this point and time, that’s pretty much our position. We are obviously willing to negotiate and talk about it.”
The county disputes the city’s numbers.
They would settle for their current share of 56.5%.
They have also presented their numbers based on four areas including daytime population, the 2019 employment economic census, residential population, and point of sale, which is 63.9%.
“We’re pretty firm on our spot too, but we are here at the table and we want to negotiate,” said County Commission Vice-Chair Allison Watters. “I know we have 24 days. I don’t know if it’s in the best interest of the citizens of Floyd County, Rome, and Cave Spring to go to arbitration. I know it’s non-binding, but we would probably go in thinking we would have to accept what they say. I don’t know what it would cost our taxpayers to do that.”
Meanwhile, Cave Spring wants to hold on to its current 1.8%.
“What we receive, which is a small fraction, is very essential to our ability to provide services,” said Mayor Rob Ware. “With our agreements with the county, which indirectly impacts the City of Rome with fire protection, it’s essential that we are able to get the money that we have because we do serve a large portion of the county.”
More meetings are being scheduled over the next three weeks in hopes of reaching a deal.