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County approves tax revenue agreement
The Glynn County Commission voted unanimously Monday to approve an agreement with the city of Brunswick on how the two municipalities will share an estimated $18.3 million in 1-cent Local Option Sales Tax revenue for the next decade.

Commissioners met less than five minutes before voting 7-0 to approve the agreement, which will go into effect Jan. 1.

County Commission Chairman Richard Strickland described the six months of negotiations as a "long, tedious" process.

"To everyone's credit, we avoided going to court to resolve this," he said.

But having a Superior Court judge resolve the issue was a very distinct possibility as late as last week.

When negotiations began in early May, the city and county made opening proposals on how to share the tax for the next 10 years.

The city, which had received 35 percent of the tax, asked to have its share increased to 37 percent. The county, which had received 65 percent, asked for 81 percent. Neither side was willing to offer a counter proposal, and the negotiation phase was broken off before the state-mandated 60-day time limit expired.

The city and county hired mediators from the University of Georgia and reached an agreement on Aug. 31 in about eight hours.

But after the verbal agreement was put into writing, some city officials, including two directly involved in the mediated agreement, balked.

The mediated agreement gave the city 27 percent of the tax and the county 73 percent.

The county also agreed to take over the city's traffic light maintenance, animal control and recreation programs, which city officials estimate would save them about $800,000 a year.

The City Commission voted to approve it Thursday after rejecting it Oct. 24.

Commissioner Tom Sublett said the agreement was a reflection of good city and county leadership.

Strickland said the increased revenue coming into the county's coffers from the tax does not mean county property owners will see a tax cut.

Some city residents said they were opposed to the agreement because of concerns about city recreation programs.

County Administrator Alan Ours said the county will take over the city's track and field club.

"We thought it was a great program," Ours said.

The county may also offer baseball in the city at Howard Coffin Park if there are enough teams asking to participate, Ours said.



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