The Union Recorder

Local News

March 6, 2014

County begins revenue stream evaluations

(Continued)

MILLEDGEVILLE —

McMullen mentioned Tuesday that the code enforcement office doesn't “aggressively” go after individuals that don't renew the occupation license.

“A lot of your mom and pop businesses have closed, but still there are a number of lawn care companies and sometimes even subcontractors that do work without the occupation tax,” he said.

The county manager said the code office would purge the current occupation tax list to verify who is still in business ensuring that all businesses pay the proper fees for operation.

County Finance Director Dawn Hudson said the governmental entity receives between $40,000 and $50,000 per year in occupation tax.

The fiscal year 2013 total yield hovered around $30,000.

Hudson said most of the businesses are located in the city.

“Under the uniform act if they have a city license they don't have to have a county license,” McMullen said.

County staff will take 30 days to develop a plan for better enforcement and possible occupation tax changes.

Hudson liked the old proposal brought up in 2012 that would take away the alcohol license only exemption.

“Get rid of the concession that business have to pay one or the other,” she said. “It doesn't affect a lot of people.”

Commission Chairman Sammy Hall, District 3, expressed reservations Tuesday about changing fees.

“I don't know how much money is on the table now that we aren't collecting,” Hall said. “We need to do a better job of collecting what we've got.”

With only two code enforcement employees, McMullen said, “we are looking to overhaul that department.”

Commissioner Tommy French, District 2, mentioned a cost analysis associated with better enforcement.

Emily Davis, District 1 Commissioner, doesn't want an occupation policy revision to be “so rigid that you have people in jail for all that stuff.”

“You have to enforce policies and procedures, but keep it as simple as possible without giving people a criminal record,” Davis said.

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