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New way of taxing new vehicles means less sales taxes for schools

The removal of ad valorem taxes on new vehicle purchases is not only having an impact on the overall tax digest for the county, but it is also impacting the collection of Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes, according to Grady County Board of Education Finance Officer Dan Broome.
Broome told board members Tuesday night that average monthly collections began to drop in 2013 when the new law when into effect.
Average monthly collections have dropped from $220,826 in fiscal year 2012-2013 to only $204,285 in fiscal year 2014-2015.
Annual collections have dropped from a high of $2,649,918 in 2012-2013 to $2,451,418 for 2014-2015, which includes collections through June 30, 2015, the official end of the school system’s fiscal year.
Broome also reported Tuesday night that the $1,483,190.04 put into a capital project fund by former superintendent Dr. Tommy Pharis has been all spent and the account closed.
The school system currently has $6,341,770.15 on deposit at Ameris Bank, which are proceeds of collections from the Education Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax #3. Of that total, $3.6 million is reserved to pay off all of the school system’s current debt, which includes the bonds issued to finance construction of the Cairo High School gym and other facilities projects.
Broome reports that he will pay off the debt on Oct. 15.
The school system has another $6,851,497.90 on deposit at Ameris Bank that represents proceeds of the bond issuance authorized in the ESPLOST #4 referendum. According to Broome, the bulk of the bond proceeds will be used for new construction at Southside Elementary School.

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