We have reported for months now that a new sales tax called an OLOST could be coming to Bibb County, but State Representative Allen Peake says the bill is close to dying.
Back in January, Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert spoke to hundreds of people and expressed just how badly the county needed to implement the OLOST to generate revenue.
“We’ve gone from lean and mean to emaciated and angry,” says Reichert.
Reichert says the tax would rollback property taxes and help replenish the general fund, but Peake says people may never get a chance to vote on creating the new penny tax.
“There is a very slim chance the bill for all practical purposes was killed last night,” says Peake.
Peake says the bill has two components. He says Representative James Beverly is against one part of it, so he told other democrats to vote against it. Peake says without those votes, the bill does not have enough support to go through.
“By Representative Beverly killing this bill, it is going to mean a property tax increase for every property owner in the Bibb County. That’s the bottom line,” says Peake.
The same point Reichert made. We reached out to the mayor to see where the county would go from here. He was unavailable to talk, but he sent a statement saying, “It’s concerning that people may not have the chance to decide if their government could be funded with a penny tax that is mostly paid by people that don’t live here.”
We did speak with Mayor Pro Tem, Al Tillman. He says if it does not go through, the county has some major decisions to make.
“I’m just hopeful that the delegation will come together and offer some tax relief,” says Tillman.
Peake says there is a chance this bill could go through before the end of the legislative session, but he says that would require Beverly changing his mind.
We reached out to Beverly but did not hear back.