The current LOST agreement gives Rome 41.7 percent of the revenue, Cave Spring gets 1.8 percent and Floyd County gets 56.5 percent.
Cities and counties have to renew the one-cent sales tax after every Census, and sometimes the allocation becomes a point of contention.
During a Friday meeting of city and county officials, it was decided that Rome City Manager John Bennett, Cave Spring Mayor Rob Ware and County Manager Blaine Williams would meet on Wednesday, July 11, to begin discussions.
Williams said the boards have three months to reach a decision on the split, and after that, it will go to non-binding arbitration. If another month passes and an agreement still can’t be reached, the issue will go before a judge for a binding ruling, Williams said.
One issue slowing talks is that the five-member County Commission is down to three members. That issue is expected to be resolved after the July 31 primary.
“Maybe they would be happy if you get it taken care of,” Bennett quipped about the possibility of finalizing a deal before the new commissioners are sworn in.
No one seemed ready to predict that the talks will be contentious. Bennett said he had not received any instructions from the City Commission.
County Commissioner Garry Fricks said that the first question that needs to be asked is a simple one: Is the existing split acceptable?
If an agreement isn’t reached by Dec. 31, the 1-cent levy will expire.