2018-01-17 / Front Page

BOE to sue county over TAVT tax?

The Early County Board of Education voted at their Thursday board meeting to schedule a special meeting with their attorney to consider filing a lawsuit to recover misappropriated TAVT funds (Title Ad Valorem Tax on vehicles).

School Superintendent Bronwyn Ragan- Martin noted an error in the calculation for distribution of the tax was discovered last April. However, since that time the BOE has not received any of those funds, nor are they aware of plans for reimbursement.

The miscalculation has resulted in an underpayment of over $650,000 to the Board of Education since the new vehicle tax was implemented by the state in March 2013. The miscalculation also led to an overpayment of over $587,000 to the City of Blakely.

The Blakely City Council adopted a resolution at their Sept. 5 meeting increasing the city’s 2018 ad valorem tax from 3.25 mills to 4.25 mills to generate funds to reimburse the overpayment.

If the Board of Education proceeds with a lawsuit, it will be suing the county, not the city. While the city received the over payment, it was the county Tax Commissioner’s office responsible for TAVT calculations, collection and distribution of the funds.

Since the TAVT miscalculation was discovered, the Worth County Tax Commissioner was asked to review local tax office’s TAVT calculations. That review resulted in the over payment/underpayment figures.

The county’s accounting firm, Garland, Williams & Associates, concurred with those findings in a letter to the county dated Aug. 2, 2017.

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