by and through its Duly Elected Board of Commissioners ) ) ) )

Civil Action No. CV12-1381-BA

COMES NOW Chatham County, by and through its attorney, and files this proposed LOST distJibution allocation as its final and best offer in accordance with O.C.O.A. 48-8-89 and the scheduling order of the Court entered on November 27,2012.

Current LOST

Year 1
22.00% 58.00% 8.84% 4.33% 2.47% 1.73% 1.36% 1.20% 0.07%

Year 2
28.28% 52.10% 8.84% 3.95% 2.47% 1.73% 1.36% 1.20% 0.07%

Years 3-10

County Savannah

17.80% 67.21%

33.00% 48.00% 8.84% 3.34% 2.47% 1.72% 1.36% 1.20% 0.07%

Pooler 3.19% Garden City 5.77% P. Wentworth 1.67% Tybee 1.73% Bloomingdale 1.36% Thunderbolt 1.20% Vernon burg 0.07% (One percent of LOST = $600,000)

The rationale for the above proposal is based on substantial shifts in population and the consequential service delivery responsibilities the growth has on each of the political subdivision in the County. As to the County, the ad valorem tax service delivery responsibility has substantially increased and this increase in the cost of essential services will continued to dramatically increase in the future. This proposal, in a fair and equitable manner, recognizes that

Chatham County is unique due to its special service tax district of the unincorporated area having a separate millage to fund those services. Pooler, Port Wentworth and the unincorporated area of the County have grown dramatically in the last ten years . These tlu'ee areas account for 93 percent of the County's growth during 2000 to 20 I O. The unincorporated area has grown by greater than 20 percent and Pooler has more than tripled in population. Port Wentworth is immediately west of Pooler and has seen a similar shift in population to that side of the county. This offer recognizes said changes in population by raising the percentage of LOST participation from 3.1 percent to 8.84 percent for Pooler and 1.67 percent to 2.47 percent for Port Wentworth. Garden City, which was the second largest municipality in the 2002 LOST negotiation, has had a significant decline in population. That decrease in population by 23 percent resulted in a loose of participation percentage but the effect is minimized by a 3 year phase in. Despite de minimus growth in the last 10 years under the current distribution certificate, the City of Savannah has the largest LOST share of any municipality in the State while Chatham County, at 17.8 percent, is next to the lowest in the state despite its special service tax district. This otTer recognizes the County's current LOST share as a tax inequity and recognizes a significant change is necessary on a go forward basis because of the county's service responsibilities. A more realistic LOST percentage, 33% for the County, is fair. Yet, the City of Savannah will still maintain close to a majority of the total LOST proceeds at 48 percent. This adjustment in the City of Savannah's share of LOST is phased in over a three year period at 58 percent, 52 percent for the first two years respectively. The remaining eight years will be at LOST distribution share of 48 percent. The offer will bring more equitable parity between the County and City of Savannah while allowing Savannah to maintain a significantly greater share of LOST, 15 percent or 108 million dollars over the next 10 years. Savannah is the most capable of the municipalities of making up budget shortfalls through a variety of means not available to smaller municipalities or the county. Likewise, as addressed below, Garden City by imposing a modest property tax where none concurrently exist, can recoup the reduced LOST as contemplated by the clear language of the statute. This proposal in effect recognizes population growth and service demands of some and yet protects all the smaller municipalities in the county. The percentage of participation for each municipality is h'feater than their absentee share to their current LOST distribution rate to ensure that no budget shOlifalls hamper growth in the smaller municipalities. Fortunately, Garden City has no propeliy taxes and basis its entire budget on its LOST distribution proceeds. The reduction in population by 23 percent necessarily results in a reduced LOST share from 5.77 percent to 3.34 percent. This 2.43 percent difference can easily be made up by Garden City imposing a modest ad valorem tax.


Thunderbolt, despite stagnation in growth, will remain at its current 1.20 percent. Vemonburg, as strictly residential community with a total population of 122 people and little or no city services, wiIl see little change in the service delivery responsibilities and its distribution share remains the same. Under this proposal Tybee Island wiIl receive 1.73 percent, resulting in sufficient funding over a 10 year span to accomplish Tybee's participation share in beach renourishment. ' The County's proposal seeks to do as little harm as possible while reaping as much benefit as possible for the needs of each political subdivision by phasing in some cities' share. Savannah and Garden City are on a three year phased in reduction to soften the budgetary impact. Bloomingdale, Thunderbolt, Vemonburg and Tybee remain the same and do not require a phase in. Pooler and Port Wentworth are immediately awarded the higher percentage so that those municipalities could begin to reap the benefits of this higher LOST percentage. The County likewise has phased in its increased distribution to softened impact to Savannah and Garden City. Despite this increase in LOST participation by 15.2 percent, Chatham County is still not close in proximity to the median LOST share of a Georgia County and Chatham County continues to have the lowest LOST share of any county with a special service tax district. For these reasons as well as all those presented in the trial brief also filed this day and any and all arguments, facts, data and support offered at the trial of this matter, Chatham County herein prays that this Court shall adopt its Final and Best Offer. This the 81h day of February, 2013.

'The beach renourishment has been achieved through use oflocal funds with a federal match.


P.O.Box8161 Savannah, GA 31412 T: (912) 652-7881 F: (912) 652-7887



IN RE: CHATHAM COUNTY, a Political Subdivision of the State of Georgia, acting by and through its Duly Elected Board of Commissioners

) ) ) )

Civil Action No. CV12-1381-BA

TRIAL BRIEF FOR CHATHAM COUNTY, GEORGIA The intent and purpose of LOST is to provide ad valorem tax relief to all citizens and not as a revenue source to expand local government. LOST is designed to provide property tax relief through a sales tax rollback. The LOST statute has been amended on seven occasions, and though amended, the original intent of LOST has never been changed from the concept of providing ad valorem tax relief to property taxpayers. Stated in the converse, LOST proceeds are to be spent on mandatory government items which should reflect the cost of services delivered by a political subdivision ilTespective of whether such services are needed to a resident, a business or a tourist. These ovelTiding principles contained in the LOST statute are embodied in the following language: "
It is the intent of the general assembly that no agreement as to the distribution of

proceeds (LOST) ofthe tax shall enrich any political subdivision beyoud the sum which, in the absence of the distribntion, wonld be raised throngh other sources of revenue:' O.C.G.A. §4S-S-S9(b) (Emphasis added) Simply put, no jurisdiction should be unjustly enriched or preferred over other jurisdictions which is, unfortunately, the current state of affairs in Chatham County. It is a fact that the City of Savannah has the largest LOST share of any city in the state at 67.21 %. It is also a fact that Chatham County has next to the lowest share of any county in the state at I 7.S0% and is one of only two counties with a LOST share below 20%. Unique Special Tax District The LOST statute creates 159 special service districts for purposes of this Code Section that are co-terminus with the boundaries of each of Georgia's 159 counties. Chatham County is one of six counties that has created a special tax district made up of the unincorporated portion of Chatham County. This locally created county special tax district levies an additional millage rate to fund services that are rendered within the unincorporated portion of Chatham County. The Page 1

citizens of Chatham County" s special tax di strict - like citi zens of the incorporated portions of Chatham County - have two millage rates levied against their property. There are four other counties that have special service district taxes levied against the unincorporated area of the county. Those counties share equally with the municipalities located therein and enjoy an average LOST distlibution percentage of 55.54 percent. 2 However, the statutorily mandated LOST millage rate roll-back has to be applied to all citizens against whom the County"s general fund millage is imposed iITespective of whether those citizens reside in the County"s unincorporated area or within a municipality located within Chatham County. See O.e.G.A. § 48-8-9 1; NielubolVicz P. Chatham County' (rejecting argument that revenue produced by LOST statute applies only to Chatham County's special tax district and recogni zing that the LOST statute requires the millage roll-back to be applied to all taxable property wi thin Chatham County, not just property located within Chatham County's special tax district, i.e. unincorporated area) . Consequently, the special tax district residents approximately 87,000 citizens - receive only the benefit of the millage roll-back for their County general fund taxes (i.e. the propel1y taxes paid by all Chatham County residents) and receive no millage rate roll-back for their special tax district taxes (i.e. taxes paid only by residents of Chatham County's unincorporated area). It must be noted that the 87.000 citizens comprising this specified distJict if incorporated, would be the second largest municipality in the County and approximately 64% the size of th e City of Savannah. It is also noteworthy that th e unincorporated portion of Chatham County, much like the cities of Pooler and Port Wentworth, have seen dramatic growth during the tim e period since LOST was first implemented in Chatham County. In 1970, unincorporated Chatham County was a mere 24, I 02 people and the City of Savannah had in excess of 144,000 citizens. The unincorporated area 's population climbed steadily throughout this time peri od to reach its current popul ation of87,072. Pooler and Port Wentw0l1h have seen dramatic increases in popul ation predominantly in the last ten years. In 20 I 0, Savannah had shlUnk from its 1990 size despite annexations to 136,286 citizens. While the County's overall population has steadily risen, the City of Savannah' s population has been stagnate at best. Population is a criteria recognized by

Doughel1y County = 40%; Emanuel County = 49.18 %; Lowndes County = 58 %; Lumpkin County = 75%. Colquitt County gives all of LOST to the public school system.

3252 Ga. 33 0 (312 S.E.2d 802) (1984) Page 2

the LOST law' as such population increases result in increased demand for needed services delivered. The population of Chatham County is approximately 265,000 citizens and the County has service delivery responsibility for all 265,000 citizens and not merely the 87,000 citizens that reside in the unincorporated portion of Chatham County. Any discussion concerning LOST allocation must encompass the concept of the County's proportional share should encompass the County's service delivery responsibility to the total population of 265.000 citizens. The County's position is that it is fundamentally unfair and contrary to law for the County's share of LOST to be based only upon the County's service delivery responsibilities to the 87,000 citizens residing in the County's special tax district, as opposed to services that the County delivers to all citizens residing within Chatham County, including those citizens also residing in a municipality. All residents of the eight municipalities are also residents of Chatham County. Likewise, all business transactions, sales, or other activity generating LOST revenue within the eight municipalities also occur within Chatham County. Accordingly, all of Chatham County citizens deserve an equitable share of LOST proceeds so as to ensure property tax relief to all of the County's citizens. Any attempt to limit the County's LOST share to special tax district population as opposed to total County population would be inappropriate as the citizens of the special tax district receive zero LOST funds and no LOST roll back. As set fOJih above, the millage rate roll-back, i.e. propeliy tax relief, based upon LOST proceeds received by Chatham County is given equally to all citizens on a county-wide basis, as opposed to only those citizens of a patiicular municipality. When LOST proceeds are dispropo11ionately allocated to a particular municipality, then tax relief afforded by LOST benefits fewer citizens at the expense of the citizens of all the remaining municipalities and of the County. The municipalities, through their consultant and his report, have asselied that the County's LOST participation is limited to a consideration of the 14 items listed in the Supplemental Powers provision of the Georgia constitution exclusively and shall not consider other constitutional and statutorily mandated functions. This concept oflimiting the County's LOST pmiicipation to these service responsibility was soundly rejected by the trial comi in the Toombs County LOST case. (Attached portion of relevant discussion)

40.e.G.A. 48-8-89 states: "The General Assembly recognizes that the requirement for government services is not always in direct correlation with population. Although a new distribution certificate is required within a time certain of the decennial census, this requirement is not meant to convey an intent by the General Assembly that population as a criterion should be more heavily weighted than other criteria" These simple sentences celiainly demonstrates that population is a criteria even though it is not listed in (b)(I)-(8). Moreover, it demonstrate that the Court should consider factors beyond the 8 enumerated criteria if such factors reflect the actual cost of service delivery responsibility for essential government functions. Page 3

Moreover, such a holding is contrary to Georgia law. The municipalities' expert confuses similar legal terms of art and therefore reaches a misleading and illogical conclusion when applying those terms. The County has service delive/y responsibilities for all of the items listed in the Service Delivery Strategy in addition to the unmentioned constitutional and statutorily mandated functions. By its very language, a service delivelY responsibility belongs to the governing authority who must provide those essential services delineated A service delivelY strategy is only neceSS31Y when there is a potential for the duplication of services because multiple political subdivision might provide the services listed therein. In the case of service delivery responsibilities for a county these items need not be listed in any service delivery strategy as the county is the exclusive provider, both in fact and law, of said services. Yet, the cities are asking the county to ignore the funding of these essential and mandatory institutions when deciding the County's LOST participation share. To that end, there can be no more essential function of local government than to provide for a jail, a sheriff, a district attorney, public defender, and the courts. Yet, the cities are asking this Court to ignore the funding requirements of these mandatory institutions. In addition to the above-referenced services outlined by the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC), Chatham County exclusively provides 28 unique and essential services. The County expends approximately $11 0 million tax dollars in order to provide the unique essential services enumerated. The cost of providing such services must be accounted for in the County's LOST allocation. because these services are part of the County's service delivery responsibilities. These services are a responsibility borne by no other political subdivision in this County. All Chatham County property tax payers contribute to the cost of these unique services and all County property tax payers should receive their fair share of the property tax relief that the LOST is intended to provide. The failure to equitably allocate LOST proceeds as proposed by the County, will result in some tax payers carrying a greater share of the property tax burden that is disproportional to their benefit from the services being funded. It is clear that the County, as part of its service delivelY, must provide for a jail, but it is also clear that the need for a jail of this size and expense is driven by disproportional use by some municipalities. Fortunately, there is guidance as to the County and municipal service delivery responsibilities. In February 2010, the County and municipalities, with the assistance ofthe MPC, set forth in the state required service delivery strategy a detailed description of the service delivery responsibilities of the County and each municipality. This document was accepted by each political subdivision and executed by the Chairn1an of the Board of Commissioners and each Mayor. The service delivery strategy included a certification ratitied signed by all political subdivisions that the cost of services the County provides, which is primarily for the benefit of the unincorporated areas of the County, are borne by the unincorporated area residents and property owners who receive those services. O.C.G.A. §36-70-24(3).

Page 4

The 20 I 0 service delivery strategy of all political subdivisions of Chatham County continued the following services without change: I. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. II. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. Animal control (County) Street lights Emergency medical Hazardous material CEMA (County) Jail (County) Courts (County) Indigent care (County) Health Department (County) Tax billing (County) Bus transit (County) Airport Mosquito control (County) Libraries (County) Counter narcotics team (County) Cemeteries

It must be noted that of the 16 listed continued services, I I (or 68%) of the services are

provided exclusively by the County on a county-wide basis. The 20 10 service delivery strategy of all political subdivisions of Chatham County for "revised or added services" noted 20 additional services of which I 8 are provided by municipalities only within their municipal boundary. Chatham County receives benefit of only two of those services, for which the County or unincorporated residents pay a municipality for such service on a fee basis. In the case of providing water and sewer services the fee rate for unincorporated county is 100 percent higher than the fee the City of Savannah charges it own residents. Even as to the items that Savannah provides, the County pays its fair share. A perfect example of this inter-governmental cooperation for a necessary service is HAZ MAT. Savannah pays for 50 percent while the County pays for 25 percent and a special industrial fee fund s the remaining quarter of this service. While the City asserts loudly that County funds services to the unincorporated area, it mentions naught a word of the continual subsidizing of Savannah' s crime. The Ot1ice of the Public Defender and misdemeanor indigent deference representation cost for Savannah are a striking example of this issue. While evelY other municipality pays its for its own indigent defense, Savannah continues to thrust those cost onto the County and does not pay at all for such cost. The Service Delivery Strategy signed by Savannah reflects this truth as it does show that the smaller municipalities like Port WentwOlih and Pooler contract with the County for those

Page 5

services thereby paying its fair share for the protections offered in the Constitution. Savannah does not pay anything despite the fact that the vast majority of crime in Chatham County occurs within Savannah. The county and the municipalities have a woefully inadequate jail cost arrangement. CUiTently, the county's jail cost were approximately $38,000,000 for FY2012 and in excess of $41,000,000 for FY 2013. The gross reimbursement paid by all the municipalities under the a!,'feement has averaged $1,345,845 over the past three years. The combination of these numbers reHect two facts. First, the county's cost of operating the jail are increasing and will continue to do so. Second, the amount paid by the municipalities has remained Hat. It is also clear that the municipalities use the jail at a grossly disportionate rate with 88 percent of all bookings occurring on behalf of a municipality..

STATUTORY CRITERIA FOR LOST DISTRIBUTION The County agrees that the eight factors or criteria set forth in the LOST statute must be considered. The factors are: (I) The service delivery responsibilities of each political subdivision to the population served by the political jurisdiction and served during normal business hours, conventions, trade shows, athletic events and the inherent value to a community of a central business district and the unincoruorated areas of the County and the obligation of all residents of the county for the maintenance and prosperity of the central business district and the unincorporated areas of the county; The service delivery responsibilities of each political subdivision to the resident population of the subdivision; The existing service delivery responsibility of each political subdivision; The effect of a change in sales tax distribution on the ability of each political subdivision to meet its short-term and long-tenn debt; The point of sale and use which generates the tax to be apportioned; The existence of intergovernmental agreements among and between the political subdivisions; The use by any political subdivision of property taxes and other revenues from some taxpayers to subsidize the cost of services provided to other taxpayers of the levying subdivision; and


(3) (4)

(5) (6)


Page 6

(S) Any coordinated plan of county and municipal service delivery and financing. O.e.G.A. §4S-8-89(b)(l)-(b)(S) (emphasis added). However, unlike the specific fonnulas for the sales tax rollback calculation required by the other acts, neither the legislature nor the State Department of Revenue have provided any formulas for quantifying or valuing the eight factors. Additionally, the Code Section itself references that other factors, such as population, that shall be considered and makes even fmiher reference that other relevant matters might be weighed. Morever, of the enumerated criteria, th ere is absolutely no guidance provided as to how these factors should be weighed. The question then becomes - which factors are the most important under the law as applied to Chatham County and her municipalities? Pretennitting the foregoing and in an attempt to quantify the eight factors while considering propeliy tax relief, the County has proposed the "Citizens Fair Share F0I111ula" as a means of allocating LOST proceeds for the County and the eight municipaliti es therein.

Given that the eight statutOlY factors are vague, nebulous, and subject to subjective interpretations, the County has proposed a distribution fOffi1Ula to quantity these factors . It is noteworthy and bears repeating the Citi zen's Fair Share Fonnula encompasses all eight factors and is deeply rooted in both the intent and pl ain language ofO.e.G.A. 48-8-89. The County's"Citizens Fair Share Formula" ("CFSF"), encompasses the statutory criteria and provides imperial evidence as to the cost of service delivery responsibility of each political subdivision, and the corresponding propeliy tax burden on the citizens. In essence, the political subdivision with the greatest ad valorem tax burden would see the greatest reli ef under the Fonnula. Each political subdivision has an actual annual budget reflective of the actual tax revenue and expenditures for the cost of services provided to its citizens. Further, each political subdivi sion 's budget reflects that subdivision' s priortorization of a pal1icular service as demonstrated through revenue and expenditures associated with such service. In other words, service delivery responsibility to its residents is reflected in the amount that each political subdivision spends to deliver p3l1icular services. Under the Formula. the LOST statute's intent to provide property tax relief is effectuated given that the Fonnula does not factor into the calculation the cost of services that are funded through revenue sources other than propeliy taxes". In other words, proprietary funds, service fees, enterpri se funds and other non ad valorem tax revenues are not included in the Formula which is explai ned below:

S The County's method of calculation is in stark opposition to the of the municipal expel1 who discusses at length the cost of such services without mentioning the cOlTesponding revenue stream created by the service. Page 7

The Fonnula quantifies the ad valorem tax levy and current LOST tax distribution for each jurisdiction for the last three calendar years. This becomes the numerator in the Fonnula or X. The denominator of the Fonnula is the total ad valorem tax levy and current LOST distributions for all municipalities plus the county for the last three calendar years". This is the whole "pie" or Y in the Fonnula. The LOST percentage for each entity is the product of the Fonnula, X divided by Y. The ad valorem tax levy is quantified from form PT32.1, which is a Georgia Department of Revenue fonn submitted annually by each local jurisdiction to the Deparhnent of Revenue upon submission of the property tax digest. The amount of LOST distributions is calculated from the Department of Revenue's web site which lists distributions made by month to Chatham County and each of its cities. LOST share

= x (one jurisdiction's total tax levy + current LOST distribution amount
y (all jurisdictions total tax levy aud total current LOST distribution

Eight Criteria of LOST Are Embedded within the Citizen's Fair Share Formula
It is clear that the focus of the eight criteria is on the "service delivery responsibilities of each political subdivision" as ret1ected by the fact that four of the eight criteria or one-half of the criteria specifically referenced "service delivery:' The Citizens Fair Share fonnula quantifies these four criteria by the use of each political subdivision's own budget. The Citizens Fair Share formula is meant to address general fund revenues which are to be used by each entity to fund services to its resident and non-resident population as well as debt service expenditures. By addressing the general fund revenues, the fonnula directly addresses criteria first, second, third, and eighth. as well as the debt service cost of each entity's general fund - - criteria four1h. Moreover, the existence of intergovernmental agreements are reflected by their cost of service for each political subdivision and therefore criteria six and eighth is also reflected in the formula.

The fifth criteria is the "point of sale and use" for the tax to be apportioned. It is believed that the City of Savannah will attempt to rely on the point of sale factor to claim a disproportionate share of LOST. However the Department of Revenue has no method of determining with accuracy the actual point of sale within each county. Consequently, the parties

"Three years were used to ensure that there was no over or understated anomaly in any political subdivision levy. In accordance with statute we assume a municipality would raise revenue in some fashion and they are not squandering resources to expand government on nonessential items. Further, the LOST percentage is factored in fi'om the current agreement, the County's 17.8 percent and City 67, to assist in t1attening the impact. Page 8

are left to speculate as to the appropriate weight to be given to this factor and as to who should receive the credit. Additionally, the point of sale becomes meaningless as all points of sale occur in Chatham County, since any sale that should be credited to the City should also be credited to the County. Further, the point of sale has no relevance to the actual service delivelY burden on a political subdivision. The point of sale captures only a transaction in which a tax is triggered and has nothing to do with the cost of delivery of governmental services. The point of sale merely indicates the location of the collection point of the tax, it does not reflect the economic burden on government services nor who was involved in the transaction so as to properly credit the actual generator of the tax. By way of example, several municipalities in the Atlanta area are composed of primarily high income and high residential value properties but have very limited commercial or retail businesses for purposes of point of sale. These municipalities rightfully argue that while they have small business activity, that limits its ability to a point of sale tax collection, its citizens neve11heless, given their high disposable income, spend large sums of money in surrounding jurisdictions. These municipalities claim that its citizens are the actual engines that generate the tax. In sum, point of sale is subjective at best and does not reflect service delivery responsibilities of a political subdivision. This factor must be considered or should be given di minimus value. The sixth criteria looks to the existence of intergovernmental agreements between political subdivisions. The County has numerous intergovernmental a!,'Teements with all of the municipalities. In detennining the weight to be given to the intergovenunental agreements, one must look to whether the service under the agreement is being delivered free of cost or whether the party delivering the service recaptures its cost through fees. The County will prove it provides services pursuant to numerous inter-govenunental agreements in which it does not receive true cost reimbursement. The Seventh criteria relates to the use of any political subdivision prope11y tax or other revenues from some taxpayers to subsidi ze the cost of services provided to other taxpayers of the levying jurisdiction. It must be noted that as a percentage of general fund revenues, the County's unincorporated residents provide 40% of th e value of the consolidated tax digest. Yet, the unincorporated residents make up only 33% of the population. Based on the 2012 digest, this disproportionate percentage constitutes $8.2 million in property tax annually. Additionally, criteria seven focu ses on how the general fund subsidizes municipal cost. Chatham County will present a litany of information regarding the substantial cost it bears because the municipalities as a whole, and City of Savannah specificall y, do not bear the cost of its crime. FUl1her, counties are not permitted to charge franchise fees (cabl e tv excepted). Nevertheless, the citizens of unincorporated Chatham County in the special tax district, pay franchise fee taxes, the collective sum of which is divided among the municipal ities to the Page 9

exclusion of the County. These fees constitute a transfer of collected taxes from the County's special tax district resident to the exclusive use of only the municipalities in an amount conservatively estimated to be approximately $33 to $40 million over the ten-year tenn of the LOST agreement. (Make sure we can prove that number) Based upon the Citizens Fair Share Fonnula7, each party's proportional share tor LOST 2012-2022 should be as follows: Chatham County: Savannah: Bloomingdale: Garden City: Pooler: Port Wentworth: Thunderbolt: Tybee: Vernonburg: 55.31% 38.01 % 0.32% 1.31 % 2.42% 0.94% 0.52% 1.14% 0.02%

The County believes that the proposed distribution set fOlih above, based on application of the Citizens Fair Share Formula, encompasses the fairness principles set forth herein as well as the eight statutory LOST factors that must be considered in distributing LOST proceeds. However, the County recognizes the current distribution formula is the basis of the budgets currently adopted by the political subdivisions within Chatham County. Given that the Board of Commissioners have the sworn duty to serve all 265,000 citizen in Chatham County, the Board is ever mindful of the results its actions may have on all county constituents. The County does not seek to correct the tax inequity of several decades in one certificate. However, the County will continue in future LOST negotiations to endeavor to use the CFSF until such time as the County receives its rightful share of LOST distribution. In this present round of LOST arbitration, Chatham County herein adopts a middle ground approach and make the following its best and final offer.

The CFSF, resulting in a 55.31 percentage of LOST for the County, will be further supported by the County's expert Doug Eaves, who uses a separate methodology of calculation for participation shares and other assOlied statistical presentations.

Page 10

Current LOST County Savannah 17.80% 67.21 % 3.19% 5.77% 1.67% 1.73% 1.36% 1.20% 0.07%

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

22.00% 58.00% 8.84% 4.33% 2.47% 1.73% 1.36% 1.20% 0.07%

28.28% 52.10% 8.84% 3.95% 2.47% 1.73% 1.36% 1.20% 0.07%

33.00% 48.00% 8.84% 3.34% 2.47% 1.72% 1.36% 1.20% 0.07%

Pooler Garden City P. Wentworth Tybee Bl oomingdale Thunderbolt Vernonburg

This final and best offer is made in view of the fact that the Superior Court in the Toombs County LOST case rejected the argument of the municipalities's expert, Michael Brown, that a county's service delivery responsibilities for LOST discussions are limited to the 14 items set fOlih in the supplemental powers provision of the Georgia Constitution. Therefore, this Court should consider that Chatham County exclusively provides services to all political subdivision which costs approximately $111 million. The Toombs County ruling in this regard is in line with well settle case law and rules of statutory construction. Therefore, based upon the foregoing law and argument, as well as all those arguments and all that evidence that shall be produced at the hearing in this matter, Chatham County herein prays that the Court shall adopt its proposed LOST distribution as outlined in its Final and Best Offer. A proposed certificate is attached.

This the 81h day of February, 2013.


Page 11


P. O. Box 8161 Savannah, GA 31412 T: (912) 652-7881 F: (912) 652-7887

I: \Litigalion .Open\LOSTltriul brief-wpd

Page 12

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF TOOMBS COUNTY STATE OF GEORGIA TOOMBS COUNTY, a political subdivision of the State of Georgia, acting by and through its duly elected Board of Commissioners; Petitioner, CIVIL ACTION NO. 12-CV-407 vs. THE CITY OF VIDALIA, GEORGIA, a municipal corporation acting by and through : its Mayor and City Council, and THE CITY LYONS, GEORGIA, a municipal corporation acting by and through: its Mayor and City Council, and THE CITY OF SANTA CLAUS, GEORGIA, a municipal corporation acting by and through ils Mayor and City Counsel. : Respondents. ORDER OF THE COURT


2012 DEC 26 hlllO: II

The above captioned case came before the court on October 30, 20 I 2 for hearing 011 the Petition

by Toombs County pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 48-8-89. Toombs County (hereafter "County") filed its
Petition to determine the distribution of revenues under O.e.G.A. § 48-8-80 ct seq. The City of Vidalia, Georgia. the City of Lyons, Georgia, the City of Santa Claus filed as Respondents (collectively referred to as the "Municipalities" and specifically referred to as "V idalia", "Lyons" and "Santa Claus" respectively). The court allowed the parties to submit posl-trial briefs as well as objections 10 certain evidence. As to the objections filed, they are overruled.

The County has submitted its final and best offer, and Vidalia has submitted its final and best offer. Vidalia asserts that Lyons and Santa Claus are represented in their final and best offer. It is the duty of this court to adopt one or the other final and besl offer pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 48-8-89(d)(4)(D) and (E). Both the County and the MuniCipalities have submitted issues oflaw and fact. The court will address the legal issues and then apply them to the facts presented.


Primary to the court's consideration of the offers submitted is the interpretation of Article IX, Section 1[, Paragraph III of tile Constitution of the State of Georgia (hereafter "Supplementary Powers Clause") and the application of said provision to O.C.G.A. § 48·8·80 et seq., specifically the distribution of revenue under 48-8·89(a)(2). The Municipalities argue that the use of the revenues from a joint sales and use tax as authorized in the Supplementary Powers Clause is limited to the fourteen services stated in the Supplementary Powers Clause. The County argues that the Supplementary Powers Clause does not limit the services that the sales tax can be used to those listed therein. The Supplementary Powers Clause begins, "[iJn addition to and supplementary of all powers possessed by or conferred upon any county, municipality, or any combination thereof, any county, municipality, or any combination thereof may exercise the following powers and provide the following services" and continues to name fourteen specific services. The court finds that the plain language of the Clause means the foulteen services are in addition to other powers. The court does not find authority to limit the use of the tax to the fourteen items listed in the Supplementary Powers Clause. See Copeland v. Slate, 268 Ga. 375; 490 S.E.2d 68
(1997); Decalur Tax Payers League, Inc., el al. v. Adams, 236 Ga. 871, 226 S.E.2d 69 (1976). This

interpretation is the most reasonable and logical interpretation in relation to the language of the statute.


Therefore, the court finds that the Supplementary Powers Clause and O.C.O.A. § 48·8·S0 et seq. coexist to provide services in addition to the fourteen specified.

The County claims that the court cannot consider the best and final offer submitted by the Municipalities because (1) Santa Claus and Lyons should have submitted separate reports under O.C.O.A. § 4S·8·S9(d)(4)(B) and (C) and (2) Lyons and Santa Claus are absent municipalities and Vidalia's Best and Final Offer violates the statutory requirement for absent municipalities. The crux of the COWlty'S argument is the interpretation of O.C.G.A. § 48-8-89(d)(4)(B), (C) and (D). The court interprets O.C.O.A. § 4S-8-89(d)(4)(B) as it applies in this case as follows: Toombs County and V idalia (the qualified municipality representing at least one-half of the aggregate municipal population of all qualified mWlicipalities located wholly or partially within the special district) shall separately submit a written best and final offer. There will be one offer from each c!ltity. The statute thell states, "The offer from the county may be an offer representing the county and any qualified municipalities that are not represented in the offer from the qualified municipalities representing at least one-half of the aggregate municipal population of all qualified municipalities located wholly or partially within tbe special district." In other words, Lyons and Santa Claus can be represented by the County offer or the Vidalia offer. The record shows that Lyons and Santa Claus are represented in the Vidalia offer. O.e.G.A. § 48·S-89(d)(4)(C) authorizes the submission of an offer by a minority municipality, but it does not require such submission. This interpretation is reasonable given the opportunity for other municipalities to be represented in the offer by the COWl!y or majority municipality. In other words, this subsection allows another mWlicipalityto file an offer if it is not otherwise represented. O.C.G.A. § 48·8·89(d)(4)(D) provides for minority municipalities that ARE NOT represented by either offer and have not filed a final offer. However, in this case Lyons and Santa

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE I hereby certify that I have this day served the parties in the foregoing action with a copy of this document by placing the same in the United States mail with sufficient postage affixed thereto to assure delivery and properly addressed to: Edward M. Hughes, Esq. Callaway, Braun, Riddle & Hughes PO Box 9150 Savannah, GA 31412-9150 John Raymond Dickey, Esq. J Raymond Dickey Attorney at Law PO Box 1099 Rincon, GA 31326 Brooks Stillwell, Esq. 200 E. St. Julian Street Suite 500 Savannah, GA 313401 bstill well Charles W. Barrow, Esq. Goodman McGuffey Lindsey & Johnson 530 Stephenson Avenue, Suite 300 Savannah, GA 31405 James P. Gerard, Esq. Oliver Maner LLP PO Box 10186 Savannah, GA 31412 This 13 th day of February, 2013. Steven E. Scheer, Esq. Scheer & Montgomery, PC PO Box 11047 Savannah, GA 31412 Eric R. Gotwalt, Esq. Zipperer Lorberbaum & Beauvais, P. C. PO Box 9147 Savannah, GA 31412-9147 Patrick O'Connor, Esq. Oliver Maner, LLP P.O. Box 10186 Savannah, GA31412 ] Christopher E. Klein, Esq. Klein Law Group LLC 15 Lake Street, Suite 210 Savannah, GA 31411 chris@kleinlawgrou]

Chatham County Attorney's Office P. O. Box 8161 Savannah, GA 31412 (912) 652-7881

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