The FTA Policy Committee addressed a broad range of finance and tax issues affecting counties. One of the primary issues that garnered significant discussion was the future of the communications services tax. The committee adopted a position that would allow county participants on the CST Working Group / Task Force to participate in statewide discussions about modernizing current tax law to keep pace with developments in telecommunications technology.
The Committee also took up an issue relating to the desire for greater flexibility in the use of local discretionary revenue. Meeting participants expressed that greater flexibility in the use of current revenue sources would provide for more efficient management and administration of local government services.
In the area of transportation, the committee voted on a policy that would SUPPORT good faith discussions on allowing cities to levy the transportation surtax, provided that any expansion of the surtax would be subject to approval by the governing board of the county, in accordance with conditions stipulated by the county. Finally, as in previous years, the committee called for preserving the integrity of the state transportation trust fund and opposes any trust fund sweeps to general revenue.
The Committee ultimately voted on its top policy priorities, as follows:
- Communications Services Tax: SUPPORT amending and/or revising current law in a manner that is: 1) revenue neutral including unused capacity; 2) simplifies administration and collection of the current tax; 3) provides for a broad and equitable tax base; 4) provides for the enhanced stability and reliability as an important revenue source for local government; and 5) provides for the opportunity for market-based growth.
- Local Discretionary Revenue Flexibility: SUPPORT modifications to existing laws governing local discretionary revenue sources to provide greater flexibility and more efficient administration and management.
- Transportation Regional Improvement Program (TRIP): SUPPORT redirecting the 2009 Motor Vehicle License Fee, Title Fee, and Initial Registration Fee surcharges from the General Revenue Fund to the State Transportation Trust Fund.
For more information or questions, please contact FAC Finance & Tax Advocate Davin Suggs.