Following months of bickering and arguing between Upson County and the City of Thomaston over the division of the one cent Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) and who will provide funding for the delivery of services for both county and city residents, the issue of the LOST percentages is now in the hands of Senior Judge Stephen Bosworth. Until the judge reaches a decision, the percentages will remain the same as they have been for the past 32 years.
Beginning on Monday, March 25, in Upson County Probate Court, Judge Bosworth will hear presentations from Upson County, the City of Thomaston, and the City of Yatesville on what the three governments feel would be a fair split of the LOST revenue. The LOST negotiations began in July between Upson County, the City of Thomaston, and the City of Yatesville. Since the one cent LOST began in 1981, the split between the three governments has been 55 percent for the county, 43 percent for Thomaston, and 2 percent for Yatesville.
In July, Upson County government representatives proposed that the sales tax proceeds be divided among the governments as they had in the past. The discussion of how service delivery in the three governments would be accomplished would still be subject to negotiation. After receiving this proposal in writing, Thomaston agreed to the proposal, only to have the county disavow its own proposal and refuse to approve it at an August 14 meeting.
When negotiations on LOST and service delivery between Upson County and Thomaston failed, state law mandated that a mediator be brought in. An attorney from Macon attempted to broker an agreement, but again to no avail. The final step in the state-mandated process was to send the issue to a Superior Court judge in another judicial circuit for a final decision on how the LOST revenue will be divided.