A deal reached last month divvying up billions of dollars in Fulton County’s penny sales tax proceeds could be in jeopardy, putting residents at risk for property tax hikes and igniting more tensions between the county’s local governments.
Atlanta and College Park are deciding Thursday whether to join Fulton County and a coalition of 12 cities in approving a plan to split up local option sales tax, or LOST, money. In a deal reached earlier this year by Fulton County and those cities, Atlanta stood to see its annual share cut by $5.8 million per year, while some Northside cities gained millions of dollars to help fund their services and keep taxes down.
But Mayor Kasim Reed, unhappy with the prospect of losing more than $50 million over the 10-year life of the tax, called a special meeting with the Atlanta City Council during which he was granted the authority to make a last-minute decision Thursday. That’s the deadline for counties to submit plans to the state’s Department of Revenue, lest they risk losing the sales tax which brings in roughly $240 million to Fulton annually.