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May 30--  Unlike their neighbors in Toombs County, officials in Montgomery County have reached agreement in principle on how they will share local sales tax revenue for the next ten years starting in January.

At a meeting of city and county officials Tuesday, it was agreed the revenue will be shared based on a pro rata share of population in the towns and county.  Representatives from the county commission and the towns of Ailey, Higgston, Mount Vernon and Uvalda agreed to use the same formula that was applied when the agreement was last signed in 2002.  The towns of Tarrytown and Alston had no representatives at the meeting.

County manager David Curry will apply population figures from the 2010 census and officials will have another meeting to finalize the figures on June 21st.

According to the census, Montgomery County has a population of 9,123 with 5,073 citizens living in the unincorporated area of the county.  Mount Vernon has a population of 2,451; Uvalda 598; Ailey 423; Higgston 323; Alston 159 and Tarrytown 87.

Before the June 21st meeting, city officials have been asked to certify their towns qualify to receive local sales tax revenue.  State law requires governments must provide at least three of six basic services in order to qualify.  Those services are water, sewer, garbage collection, police, fire protection and library services.

Any towns in Montgomery County which do not provide at least three of those services will be ineligible to receive sales tax revenue during the next ten years.

County officials say sales tax receipts in the 12-month period from April, 2011 to April, 2012 amount to $380,000 for the county, $158,000 for Mount Vernon, $48,000 for Uvalda, $42,000 for Ailey, $25,000 for Higgston, $12,000 for Alston and $8,000 for Tarrytown.

State law requires local governments to roll back their property taxes each year by the amount of sales taxes received on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

Toombs County officials have been unable to reach an agreement on sharing sales tax receipts and are involved in a court battle to decide how the revenue will be divided in the future.