Toccoa City Commission Looks At Occupation Tax Ordinance

Toccoa City Commissioners will continue discussions on a proposed updated occupation tax ordinance.

At Monday’s meeting, Toccoa City Attorney John Dickerson presented the proposed update to the commission for a first reading.

According to city officials, one of the main issues surrounding the ordinance was finding an appropriate way for the city to verify a business’s gross receipts. Toccoa uses a business’s gross receipts as part of determining the occupation tax for a business for the next year.

Dickerson said that the proposed update does not mandate that a business provide any additional documentation to verify gross receipts, but does allow the city to ask any business for such additional documentation to verify those gross receipts.

“We have an absolute right of audit,” said Dickerson. “For example, if somebody submits an (business license) application and we have a concern, or if we just do it randomly, we can say ‘Can you furnish us that documentation?’ and they are required to furnish that (gross receipts) documentation, not only by our local ordinance but also by state law.”

Dickerson did say that the information can come from a registered or certified public accountant and that would be sufficient.

Multiple commissioners say they want to discuss a number of issues before considering approving the proposed updated ordinance and the commission decided to hold a work session on the issue.

Toccoa City Commissioner Gail Fry said that she has some concerns that she feels need to be addressed, even though they do not fall under the occupation tax ordinance.

“I would like to talk about yard sales,” said Fry. “I know that some houses have a yard sale every single day and I think that we need to limit the time they can have yard sales, maybe the number of times at a location, and we need to limit the duration.”

Fry said she is not opposed to yard sales, but adds that she has concerns over a yard sale taking place at the same location every single day.

The city commission scheduled the work session for December 10, prior to its regular meeting.