As many of you may know, Clayton County, the seven Clayton County cities, and the Clayton County Public School System lost money as a result of a 2018 change in state law. The law was changed after the Federal Aviation Administration issued a 2014 policy statement that local sales taxes on aviation fuel could only be used at the Atlanta airport.
For about 20 years, the local sales taxes on aviation fuel, known as Local Option Sales Tax or LOST used by Clayton County government and the cities to reduce local property taxes that fund the operating budgets and the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education or ESPLOST used by the school district to pay for new buildings and school repairs provided approximately $24,000,000 annually to the County, cities, and Clayton County Public Schools. Now that money is gone.
The loss of tax revenues to Clayton County government and the Clayton cities was reduced for now by the successful efforts of the Clayton County Legislative Delegation to secure grants to replace the LOST through year 2021 ($27,000,000) and by monthly grants to the school district for ESPLOST from the Delta Air Lines Foundation ($18,000,000) through the end of 2019.
The question is: what do we do once these funds are exhausted?
The Clayton County Legislative Delegation, Clayton County officials, and Clayton County city officials and staff are continuing to meet and discuss options to restore or replace this lost money. This group is working to achieve changes in Georgia law that could impact local tax money and also with Representative David Scott and Representative John Lewis to change the Washington D.C. mandate.
We will need citizen participation in the efforts to get this money back. Letters from our citizens to Georgia's members of Congress and members of the General Assembly could make the difference. As this moves along, we will post names, addresses, and suggested letter content for all Clayton County citizens to use in contacting elected and appointed officials in support of our plan to replace these tax dollars.
Please continue to check our website for updated information and consider encouraging Clayton residents to participate in the efforts to get this money back.
CLAYTON COUNTY COMMUNITY MESSAGE