Joint resolution resolves tax settlement between county and BOE

Published 1:48 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2013

By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

A joint resolution between the Lowndes County Board of Education and the Lowndes County Commission resolves a nearly $487,000 dispute concerning the under payment of sales taxes to the board.

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A copy of the resolution received by the Signal, shows it was adopted on April 8, signed by Board President Ben Davis, Board Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd, Lowndes County Commission Administrator Jackie Thomas and Lowndes County Commission Chairman Robert M. Harris and marked received by the board on June 5.

Included in the settlement, the commission gave the old health services building to the board of education, which was owned by the county, in lieu of paying back-taxes.

According to Thomas at the time of the settlement, the error was the result of a “miscalculation” regarding a 1-cent sales tax.

And Commissioner W. Dickson Farrior said some of the money collected, which was supposed to go to the board, came to the commission instead.

“I don’t believe that was intentionally done by any particular party,” Lowndes County School Superintendent Dr. Daniel Boyd also said at the time. “I think it was an honest mistake.”

Commission Chairman Robert Harris abstained from voting on the agreement for which Commissioners Brenson Crenshaw, Carnell McAlpine, Farrior and Joseph Barganier all voted in favor.

Farrior said the building to be given to the board was vacant. He said by allowing the board to have it, the liability and expense of maintaining the old health services building would come off the county.

According to the copy of the joint resolution received by the Signal, the amount owed to the board was $486,999.52 and in “full settlement of the dispute” the commission will provide $20,000 per year to the board for operation and maintenance of its central office in lieu of space required by Alabama law and extend for not less than 20 years any taxes earmarked for the board, as well as “convey to the board in fee simple the property located at 100 Oak St., Hayneville.”

Also, “the board in full settlement of the dispute concerning the underpayment of sales taxes, shall forego any legal or other action to collect said taxes.”

Harris declined to comment on the joint resolution when asked about it following Monday’s regular Lowndes County Commission meeting.

“It was a good settlement,” Farrior said. “It wasn’t either one of our fault (board or commission), it was just something that happened and this cleared that up and it was good for the board of education and good for the county.”