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Montgomery Co Responds to Lawsuit
Friday, 31 January 2014
January 31--  The Montgomery County Commission released the following statement Friday regarding a lawsuit filed against the county.

 "The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners has been served with a lawsuit (13CV159) from S. Keith Hamilton, the Plaintiff.  The complaint was filed on December 18, 2013 in the Superior Court of Montgomery County, Georgia.  The Plaintiff is claiming the County has misused the Insurance Premium Tax and overtaxed the citizens in the unincorporated areas of the County.  These claims are untrue and misleading.  The Insurance Premium Tax is authorized under O.C.G.A. § 33-8-8.3.  The County is authorized under this statute to expend these funds for services that benefit the “inhabitants of the unincorporated areas of the County”.  The expenses to provide rural fire coverage and solid waste collection services are paid with funds afforded to the County by the Insurance Premium Tax.

                "The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners are disturbed by the claims made by the Plaintiff.  The Plaintiff claims that the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners have “illegally and erroneously assessed taxes” in the complaint.  The County has been utilizing the funds from the Insurance Premium Tax since 2005.  Current and former commissioners that have served since 2005 did not “illegally and erroneously” assess taxes that the Plaintiff is claiming.  Former and current commissioners that have served the County since 2005 are educated and accomplished individuals.  Some of these commissioners are deacons in their churches and have served in the public sector.  In addition, one former commissioner is a physician, one current commissioner is a pastor, and some others are college graduates.  These former and current commissioners are highly regarded for their character, education and talents.  It is unfortunate that the current and former administrations of the County are being accused of “illegally and erroneously” assessing taxes.

                "The County is confident the Court will find that the Plaintiff’s claims are untrue.  The County is using the funds from the Insurance Premium Tax as the General Assembly intended in the law.  The decision to utilize the funds is a policy making decision by the Commissioners and not a legal decision.  The debate over the Insurance Premium Tax does not belong in the courtroom but the County Commissioners’ board room.

                "The County is confident it will win this case, and the County will continue to provide rural fire coverage and solid waste collection services for the citizens of the unincorporated areas of Montgomery County, Georgia."

 

 
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