Macon Mayor Robert Reichert told members of City Council on Tuesday that lawyers for the city and Bibb County have chosen R. Wayne Thorpe as the mediator for service delivery negotiations.
Reichert said the city’s special outside counsel, Buddy Welch, will make a presentation next Tuesday about Thorpe, of Atlanta.
A service delivery agreement outlines how property tax money is spent and by which government.
Reichert has maintained that without a new service delivery agreement in place, he cannot sign off on a proposed special purpose local option sales tax, which the county wants to use to pay for a new courthouse.
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He said the current service delivery agreement has created tax inequities that puts an unfair financial burden on city residents who make up about 60 percent of the county’s population.
County officials contend that service delivery and SPLOST are unrelated, and therefore one shouldn’t be a prerequisite for the other. As such, the county moved forward without the city, setting a July vote on the SPLOST, which is expected to generate $183 million if it is approved by voters.
If the SPLOST vote fails, it can’t be on the ballot for at least another year.
Officials must have a new service delivery agreement by October or both the governments will potentially lose out on state grants.