Logsdon wants sales tax improvements

Thu, 09/06/2007 - 3:36pm
By: John Munford

Peachtree City Mayor Harold Logsdon is lobbying state officials in a bid to improve sales tax collections and the data that state officials compile for sales taxes.

Logsdon thinks the state could be missing out on sales tax collections based on the results of a recent change in the way the state collects motor vehicle fuel taxes. That change forced the fuel distributors to pay the tax instead of the individual retailer, and the result was the state collected 21 percent more than when the taxes were paid by the stores themselves, Logsdon said.

Logsdon estimates that improved sales tax collection could add up to $2 million in additional sales tax revenue for Peachtree City that, arguably, the city should be getting anyway.

“It’s increasing revenue without increasing taxes, because all it’s doing is collecting what is due the state,” Logsdon said.

Logsdon said he recently spoke with someone who had been in business in Peachtree City for 21 years but had never been audited by the state.

The mayor has met with Gov. Sonny Perdue, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham on the issue and is also asking the state to provide another layer of sales tax data. Logsdon said he wants to be able to see a report showing sales tax figures collected in the city limits, but right now the state only reports sales tax collections at the county level.

Having the extra detail will allow officials to more accurately measure the economic impact of events such as the Tour de Georgia, Logsdon said.

The city can tell that the tour, for example, had an impact because the city saw the spike in hotel-motel tax collections. But at the same time, sales tax data would show how much money the event pumped into the local economy through restaurants and the like, Logsdon added.

The only potential problem with improving “point of sale” data would be a requirement with smaller stores having to submit their sales tax information electronically, but in this day and age computers are so prevalent it shouldn’t be a major issue, Logsdon indicated.

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