Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 8, 2013

County, city agree to 60-40 split of tax money


Somerset —

“‘Offset’ means that if (the county taxed at) 1 percent and we did six-tenths percent, without the offset, you’d be paying 1.6 percent,” said Girdler, who explained that the numbers will be adjusted every fiscal quarter to reflect the 60/40 split. “In order not to do that, to not increase the cost to workers or anything else, the amount on that six-tenths we collect will be an offset with those people working against the county, so therefore the worker will pay only 1 percent.
“Even if we generate, say, 10 million and the county’s getting 60 percent of that, the city theoretically would get $6 million and the county would only get $4 million,” he continued. “Because we’re willing to work with the county in the future, it’s actually reversed. We’re giving them more money than they would be entitled to provide the services, and we’ll take the 40 percent.”
Added Girdler, “The county is still going to come out pretty good. They will not be harmed.”
Girdler estimated that the total occupational tax revenue likely comes out to about $9.5 million annually. Of that, the county could expect to get about $5.7 million and the city $3.8 million. Previously, the city had only been getting about $1.2 million to operate EMS; “We think it will take about $1.6 million to sufficiently operate it,” said Girdler.
Beyond that, the additional money will allow the city a little bit more financial flexibility for other projects. Girdler said that “there will be some changes made” in relation to that extra revenue influx.
“The beauty of this plan is that it puts both the city and the county operating the way it should be,” he said. “They have different functions and different services they want to do, and we have different functions and services. We provide all the utilities; they provide none.

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