County didn’t re­fund Bridge­stone’s over­paid taxes

The Covington News - - Front page - By Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­news.com

Bridge­stone Golf will not re­ceive an $ 83,000 tax re­fund from Newton County for taxes it over­paid in 2006 and 2007, af­ter the Board of Com­mis­sion­ers let the mat­ter lapse.

Bridge­stone re­quested the re­fund on Nov. 7, 2009, but the board never voted on the mat­ter, which is deemed by law as a de­nial of the request. County of­fi­cials said the er­ror was made by Bridge­stone, be­cause its em­ploy­ees sub­mit­ted in­cor­rect fig­ures.

The county dis­cussed the mat­ter in Fe­bru­ary 2010, but de­cided to ta­ble it and let the county at­tor­ney’s of­fice in­ves­ti­gate fur­ther. County At­tor­ney Tommy Craig said at the time that his of­fice would re­view the facts and bring a rec­om­men­da­tion back to the board.

Chair­man Kathy Mor­gan said in an email Tues­day that the board had de­cided to not vote and let the request lapse based on the ad­vice of le­gal coun­sel. At­tor­ney Jenny Carter said she be­lieved Bridge­stone had one year to file an ap­peal to the Newton County Su­pe­rior Court, and there­fore, the county could not com­ment fur­ther. As of Tues­day, no ap­peal had been filed. Bridge­stone Hu­man Re­sources Man­ager Bob Zill­gitt said Tues­day that the com­pany had no com­ment.

Bridge­stone orig­i­nally re­quested that the money be cred­ited to­ward its 2009 taxes. The Cov­ing­ton City Coun­cil voted 5-1 on Oct. 4 to re­im­burse Bridge­stone for the $ 23,088.95 the city re­ceived in ad val­orem taxes, with Coun­cil­man Chris Smith op­pos­ing. The check was paid to Bridge­stone on Nov. 12.

“ We felt it was the right thing to do,” Mayor Kim Carter said Tues­day.

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