Grovetown and Harlem officials on Monday took the next step toward allowing Columbia County to impose an energy excise tax on local manufacturers.
House Bill 386, passed last year by the state Legislature, exempts manufacturers from taxes on the sale, use, storage and consumption of energy. Local education sales tax levies were not included.
Counties were given the option to make up for the lost tax revenue by imposing a local energy tax. In Columbia County, that would mean manufacturers, who under the state mandate would see their sales tax bill drop from 8 percent to 1 percent, would instead pay 3 percent.
Officials from both cities adopted a resolution for an intergovernmental agreement with Columbia County, the first step toward creating the new excise tax.
While Grovetown officials aren’t sure how much the tax would bring, Harlem City Manager Jason Rizner said he was told that the city would receive about $5,000 by approving the agreement with the county.
“If we do nothing, we’ll get nothing,” Rizner said. “Our money will just go to the county.”
County officials also adopted the resolution Tuesday in the Management and Financial Services Committee meeting. The Board of Commissioners is expected to approve the resolution at Tuesday’s meeting, and then begin drafting an ordinance to implement the tax, said County Administrator Scott Johnson.