Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 15

incorporated areas. When they discovered that
the law allowed them to collect this tax from
banks inside their cities, they changed their
policy and greatly increased their revenues.
Audits are another great tool to ensure
what should be collected is, in fact, collected.
Keep track of when each revenue source was
last audited and create a schedule for future
audits. Some revenues, like personal property
tax may need to be audited more frequently
because of its mobility and a greater reliance
on self-reporting. County revenues collected
by the state, like sales tax and E-911 fees,
cannot be audited by the county, but the
county should work with the state to encourage audits. Counties can request from the
Department of Revenue a list of vendors that
are actively collecting and remitting sales
tax within their county. After reviewing the
list, the county can have the Department of
Revenue check on any businesses that are
not on the list but appear to be operating
in the county and registered to collect
sales tax. When a business that should be
collecting sales tax is not registered with
the state, not only is the sales taxes lost,

but there is no way they will ever be audited
because DOR does not know that they exist.
Policies set by county commissioners and
their legislative delegations also play a critical role in long term revenue management.
Exemptions need to be carefully studied to
ensure they achieve an important public purpose or will create a greater return through
economic development. Once these exemptions are created, they are very difficult to eliminate if they fall short of their intended goals.
Commissioners can also set polices to make
it easier to pay taxes and fees such as placing
fees on the property tax bill and allowing for
installment billing. Many fees, fines and forfeitures are collected by the four constitutional
officers. County commissioners should monitor
these revenue sources and work with the constitutional officers to ensure they are maximizing
the revenues they collect under state law.
Counties should have an investment policy to
maximize the interest rate return on revenues
based upon the length of time they will be held
before their use. The state laws allow some revenues to be invested differently than others. For
example, pension fund revenues can be invested

differently than general fund revenues allowing
for a greater return on eligible investments.
Using debt as a revenue source is appropriate when the cost of the debt is less than
the inflation on the products and services
being acquired when a county must wait an
extended period to accumulate the needed
revenues. Debt can also allow the government
to generate economies of scale by consolidating projects. For example, if a county can
take out debt to fund several road projects
that would normally be done over five years
through Local Maintenance Improvement
Grant funds, also known as LMIG, they may
get a better price for doing all the projects at
once and paying off the debt overtime.
Property taxes make up the difference
between the total amount needed for the
budget and the amount of non-property tax
revenues available. Shrinking this gap through
effective revenue management should be a
goal of the county commission. Effective
revenue management can only happen when
there is consistent monitoring, measuring and
analyzing of options and alternatives in all
revenue streams available to the county. ■

SPRING 2019 www.accg.org

15

ENCIKTEPSTUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Managing Revenues


http://www.accg.org

Georgia County Government - Spring 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - Spring 2019

President’s Message
Director's Desk
Ethics on the Edge
Avoid Property Tax Increases by Managing Revenues
EPD’s STAR Program Keeps Georgia Counties and Rights-of-Ways Clean
2019 ACCG Annual Conference Preview
College Underserved Community Partnership Program
Hurricane Michael: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Working with Hard-to-Count Communities
Reduce the Friction with a County-Wide Community Development System
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - Intro
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - cover1
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - cover2
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 3
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 4
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 5
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 6
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - President’s Message
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 8
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - Director's Desk
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - Ethics on the Edge
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 11
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 12
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 13
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - Avoid Property Tax Increases by Managing Revenues
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 15
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - EPD’s STAR Program Keeps Georgia Counties and Rights-of-Ways Clean
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 17
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 2019 ACCG Annual Conference Preview
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 19
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - College Underserved Community Partnership Program
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 21
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - Hurricane Michael: Looking Back, Looking Forward
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 23
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 24
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - Working with Hard-to-Count Communities
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 26
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 27
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 28
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 29
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 30
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - Reduce the Friction with a County-Wide Community Development System
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - 32
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - News & Notes
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - Index of Advertisers
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - cover3
Georgia County Government - Spring 2019 - cover4
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