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Commission approves 2012 budget, tax abatements

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

In addition to approving its fiscal year 2012 budget last Wednesday night, the Lowndes County Commission approved tax abatements for both Hyundai and Daehan Solutions on separate pieces of equipment, opened the way for the Family Guidance Center to lease the old library in Hayneville and approved County Highway Department bids on tires and herbicides.

Commissioners also heard from Kelvin Lawrence seeking support from the county for local businesses.

At Monday night’s session of the County Commission, commissioners approved a tax abatement for $2.9 million a piece of tooling equipment to be owned by Hyundai, but used at the Daehan Solutions plant in Lowndes County to make parts for a new car model line.

It included a one-time abatement on sales and use tax and a 10-year maximum abatement on personal property tax excluding the portion of those taxes for education.

As that request was approved pending provision of serial numbers, model numbers and date of sale, which were confirmed by economic developer Gene Crum, the commission unanimously voted to both reconsider and approve the abatement.

Wednesday night, the commission also voted unanimously to approve tax abatements for Daehan for a piece of tooling equipment valued at $2,097,471 to make molding.

Commissioner Harris said the equipment had to be new and be valued in excess of $2 million to qualify for the abatement. He also said it was cross checked to make sure it was not the same equipment abated for Hyundai.

Crum confirmed that the Daehan abatements are not an extension of any previous abatement. He also said the Lowndes County Board of Education will receive tax revenues on both the Hyundai and Daehan pieces of equipment.

The commission voted unanimously to authorize County Attorney Henry “Hank” Sanders to draft a lease agreement for the Family Guidance Center to use the old library in Hayneville.

County Commission Administrator Jackie Thomas said the center would do necessary repairs on the structure without assistance from the county.

On the recommendation of Sanders, the lease will include requirements that the center renovate and maintain the building and do substantial work on it within a specific length of time.

On the recommendation of County Engineer David Butts, the commission approved herbicide bids from Helena and tire bids from McKinley Tire Sales & Service.

Local businessman Lawrence said he came before the commission “just to ask the board to support local business” in “any way that y’all see fit.”

He said he would like to reopen his sand and gravel business, and asked if the county could use his operation, which would employ five people. He said his businesses employs 30 people, all from Lowndes County.

Commission Chairman Charlie King Jr. said Lawrence’s point was “well taken.” He said, “We understand the needs and necessities of keeping tax dollars floating around here in Lowndes County as much as we possibly can.”

The Lowndes County Commission approved its fiscal year 2012 budget last Wednesday night.

The Wednesday session was a continuation from Monday night’s recessed regular County Commission meeting.

The total FY 2012 budget unanimously approved with all commissioners present includes revenues of $8,431,558 and expenditures of $8,229, 950 in expenditures. However, to make it work revenues were transferred into various funds.

The General Fund showed revenues of $3,530,688 with expenditures of $4,077,827.

To make it balance, $474,639 were transferred from Road and Bridge revenues and $72,500 were transferred in from Capital Improvement revenues.

Emergency 911 showed revenues of $285,451 with expenditures of $357,638. To give it $358,638 in revenues with $357,638 in expenses, $72,187 in revenues were transferred in from the One Cent Fund.

County Commission Administrator Jackie Thomas said regular revenues for E911 come from telephones and a 1 mill in ad valorem tax revenues.

The Gasoline Fund showed revenues of $1,274,558 with expenses of $1,660,889. To give it $1,661,019 in revenues with $1,660,889 in expenses, revenues were transferred in including $266,377 from the Road and Bridge Fund, $47,584 from Public Highway and the Traffic Fund and $72,500 from the Capital Improvement Fund.

The Petroleum Fund showed revenues of $107,366 with expenditures of $200,000. However, she said, with revenues brought forward from this fiscal year, it will balance out.

While there were no revenues for capital improvement, Thomas said funds are transferred from the Road and Bridge Fund to make the payment on the courthouse of $30,100.

Thomas said the payment on the courthouse has been made since 1984 with two more years to go.