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February 13--  The Montgomery County Commission has filed its answer to a lawsuit regarding the use of the county's insurance premium sales tax.

Attorneys for the county's insurance company filed a 14-page response January 31 in Montgomery County Superior Court.

Montgomery County Superior Court Clerk Keith Hamilton wants a judge to decide if the commission has been properly using the sales tax to pay for fire protection and solid waste collection in the unincorporated parts of the county as required by state law.

Hamilton claims expenditure of the funds has been unlawful and that a tax refund should be ordered for himself and other rural residents of Montgomery County.

The county's answer denies Hamilton's allegations and says Insurance Premium Sales Tax proceeds were used in accordance with state law.  It claims property taxes would have been insufficient to pay for fire and solid waste services without adding the Insurance Premium revenue to the budget.

The county also claims Hamilton, who is paid by Montgomery County taxes, has a conflict of interest and should not be permitted to lead a class action suit against the county.