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Sunday, February 20, 2011 - 11:00pm

Talks Loom For Local Option Sales Taxes

Georgia cities and counties will have to renegotiate agreements over local option sales tax funds after this year's Census figures come out.

And for some cities, that might be a painful process.

Cities expected to lose population relative to their counties could lose negotiating power when they go into talks with county leaders over how to split up local option sales tax funds.

Agreements are re-negotiated every ten years based, in part, on population.

And fewer LOST funds could put even bigger holes in already strained city budgets.

But Amy Henderson of the Georgia Municipal Association says, it's not all population-based and cities do have cards to play.

"There's a lot of services that the city is being required to provide to a temporary daytime population," Henderson says. "If you've got a city, for example, that maybe people have moved out of the city proper but they're still coming into the downtown everyday and it's a main hub, they can use that in negotiations."

Henderson expects Georgia cities to increase population by about eight million people.

Most of that growth, however, will be in Metro Atlanta.