City ap­proves au­dit of mixed drink ven­dors

GMA to see if back taxes are owed

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Oswald

The Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil ap­proved an agree­ment with the Ge­or­gia Mu­nic­i­pal As­so­ci­a­tion for Al­co­hol Ex­cise Tax Rev­enue Re­cov­ery ser­vices at their Mon­day night meet­ing.

The GMA is to con­duct an au­dit of the city’s 16 mixed­drink li­censees. The au­dit will com­pare the re­turns from whole­sale buy­ers and the re­turns from mixed-drink li­censees to de­ter­mine if there are any back taxes owed to the city.

The city was given an es­ti­mate of $10,500 by GMA for the tax re­cov­ery ser­vices. While it is pos­si­ble that the city might learn from the au­dit that it is owed no back taxes, J. Bryan Whit­ford, a con­sul­tant who works with GMA, said the ma­jor­ity of cities who have em­ployed GMA’s ser­vices for al­co­hol tax re­cov­ery have found that they were owed money.

While Whit­ford could not give an es­ti­mate of how much money the city could ex­pect to re-coup from the tax re­cov­ery, he did say that the City of Amer­i­cus (a city of sim­i­lar size to Cov­ing­ton) had re-couped $16,000 from an au­dit in 2001.

Whit­ford said the for­mula used by the GMA to fig­ure out if a busi­ness owed the city ad­di­tional taxes for the sale of mixed-drinks was ac­cu­rate and erred on the side of cau­tion to­wards the mixed-drink li­censees.

“We can come up with a very good es­ti­mate of what the sale should have been and com­pare that to the re­turn to the city,” said Whit­ford of the for­mula used.

Whit­ford es­ti­mated that it could take any­where from 90 days to a year and a half to com­plete the au­dit. The au­dit will ex­am­ine the re­turns from mixed-drink li­censees for the past three years. In other city coun­cil news: There will be a called meet­ing at 6 p.m. Mon­day, Aug. 13 at the Cov­ing­ton City Hall to dis­cuss and ap­prove a fran­chise agree­ment be­tween the City of Cov­ing­ton and Char­ter Com­mu­ni­ca­tions for the sale of Cov­ing­ton Cable.

Cour­tesy of the New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice

Sur­veil­lance:

Cam­era footage cap­tures the per­pe­tra­tor in the act.

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