If you haven’t been checking your receipts in Liberty County stores since Wednesday, you might want to.
The sales tax rate for Liberty County should have dropped by 1 percent effective Wednesday, when a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax expired after voters rejected a measure that would have renewed the tax.
Following complaints by local residents, the Courier contacted local businesses Friday and discovered some are not even aware that the last day of the SPLOST was Tuesday. The county sales-tax rate is now 6 percent, said Chief Financial Officer Kim McGlothlin.
“I tried calling the (Georgia) Department of Revenue but couldn’t get a real person on the phone,” McGlothlin said. “So I sent an email message about our sales-tax rates changing. They wrote me back and said they publish (an updated chart) on their website at the beginning of each quarter. According
to them, it’s up to (local) businesses to change the tax rate they charge their
Some local businesses said they were aware of the change and have made the correction, including Parker’s on 903 W. Oglethorpe Highway. Assistant Manager Sherry Walthour said her company had corrected their computer programs and were no longer changing customers the 7-percent sales tax.
“It changed yesterday,” Lisa Nicholas, manager of Clyde’s Market on 791 E.G. Miles Parkway told the Courier. “Our computers were reprogrammed at our home office in Glennville.”
Attempts to call Flash Foods corporate office in Waycross were unsuccessful. An unnamed representative at the Hinesville Walmart responded to the Courier’s question about the tax by checking to see what tax rate they are charging Liberty County customers. She then admitted the retail giant was still charging the extra 1 percent tax in Liberty County. Without disclosing her name, she said she would contact their corporate headquarters in Arkansas and ask someone to call the Courier.
No one from Walmart had called by late Friday afternoon.
McGlothlin said her office sent a notice to each of the municipalities about the sale-tax rate change, explaining that the county does not have a listing of businesses within each municipality. She hoped each municipality would contact its local businesses.
She said there was one question the state never answered. She asked what becomes of the extra money collected by the business. It will not come back to the county, she said, and could only suppose it would either be kept by the business or the state.