Commonwealth Journal

News Live

March 9, 2013

Magistrates concerned about new tax structure

Somerset —  

A new occupational tax structure that would have the City of Somerset claiming a larger portion of the revenue has Pulaski County officials concerned about who will ultimately feel the effects.
“I think our goal is to be fair with everybody and do what’s best for the people in the county and not a select group of people, whether that be in the city or the county,” said Pulaski County Judge-executive Barty Bullock during a special-called Pulaski County Fiscal Court meeting on Friday.
The county and city entered into an agreement recently that would establish a new occupational tax system – much of which funds a large portion of county government’s budget – after the city announced that they were dealing with a funding shortfall with Somerset-Pulaski County EMS.
Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler announced in January that the shortfall was more than $700,000 and that soon grew to around $1 million, according to Girdler. The city then approached county officials, asking that the county cover that shortfall as per a 1995 inter-local agreement that had established the funding structure for EMS.
The agreement appointed the city as “overseer” of EMS, with the city funding whatever part of the EMS budget left over after occupational tax money was applied. Pulaski County Treasurer Joan Isaacs has said EMS currently receives around $1.2 million yearly from the occupational tax revenue.
But in the event of a shortfall, the responsibility moves back to the county, according to the agreement. Girdler had suggested the city would move forward with claiming its portion of the occupational tax as a means to cover any shortfalls in the future.
“Originally, he (Mayor Girdler) was going to take 100 percent of the occupational tax generated in the city,” Bullock said Friday.
The city’s chunk of the total occupational tax pie has been estimated to be around 75 percent. A hit that significant to the county’s revenue would cripple it, according to county officials.

Text Only
News Live
News Live
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks