Yatesville hopes to keep its 2 percent once LOST smoke clears

Larry Stanford Editor

November 4, 2013

All they want is their two percent of the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) proceeds. And the Yatesville City Council thought they had it when the LOST agreement between Upson County, Thomaston and Yatesville was signed in August. But now they’re not sure.

At their October 14 council meeting Mayor Cecil Moncrief advised the council that the Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that the portion of the negotiation process where the decision on the LOST split would have gone to a judge for a final decision was unconstitutional because it is a violation of the separation of powers between judicial and executive branches of government. He said he received a call from Thomaston City Attorney Joel Bentley stating that the cities and county needed to sign another LOST certificate, so Moncrief went to Bentley’s office and signed it.

“Then Rusty (Blackston, BOC Chairman) called me this afternoon and was telling me about it, and I told him I had already signed it, with the same split, 55, 43 and 2. He said he would let me know, and the BOC had to have a meeting to decide. They have a called meeting tomorrow night,” Moncrief said. “But we still get two percent as of right now. I don’t know if this thing is ever going to come to an end or not. But I will sign it again tomorrow if I need to. I guess I’ll sign them until we run out of ink.

“The only ones who are really in jeopardy are the ones who have been to court and the judge has determined who gets what,” Moncrief added. “We were headed to court, and they (Upson County and Thomaston) asked the judge to give them another stay and work it out, and they voted to keep it the same split. The only thing they are working on right now, which has nothing to do with the split, is the service delivery agreements.

“But, according to Rusty,” Moncrief said, “when the General Assembly meets next January, they may change everything. I don’t know what they are going to do, but as it is right now, we get two percent, the same thing we’ve been getting, so keep your fingers crossed. Hopefully everything will work out for the good.”