The council approved the measure unanimously with the provision they can review its status in a year and reevaluate it.
As of Jan. 1, a bill approved by the Georgia General Assembly took effect that will phase out any taxes manufacturers pay on the energy they consume. However, of the 7 percent in taxes manufacturers pay, only 4 percent goes to the state. The remaining 3 percent goes to local governments: 1 percent to Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) collections, 1 percent to Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) collections, and 1 percent to Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) collection.
The locally passed energy excise tax was proposed as a replacement for the tax the state eliminated.
Council member Doug Brock said he liked the idea of not having the tax in an effort to attract manufacturers to the area.
“However, if we can look at it again in a year, then I’ll go ahead and approve it,” he said.
The rest of the council expressed similar sentiments before approving the measure.
In other business, the council discussed retirement account options with Steve Sampler, who manages a retirement account for City Clerk Sherry Morgan.
Morgan reported to the council that, due to the economic downturn, she has lost a great deal of her retirement savings. As a result, she wishes to change her account to reflect a more conservative outlook.
After discussing some of the options Morgan had available to her, the council said they thought it best for Sampler and Morgan to review the options and decide what action to take. The council will, therefore, wait on a decision from Morgan before approving any changes.
The council also began their review and planning for the upcoming budget.
Morgan asked that the council keep in mind that it would be an election year as council posts 1 and 4 would be up for election, which are currently held by Bill Campbell and Bob Shealy, respectively.
Brock also asked that the city find funds in the budget for new turnout gear for fire fighters posted in Waco.
“Three of the guys need new gear,” Brock said. “It’ll cost about $3,600, but if we could find that in the budget somewhere that would be nice.”
The council reviewed the numbers Council member Gerry Pounds had prepared and decided to further review them before settling on a final budget. Therefore, the council approved a called meeting to discuss the budget at 6 p.m. Jan. 21.