The Dunwoody Crier is reporting that DeKalb County has again won a round of the Homestead Option Sales Tax legal dispute with its cities at the Superior Court level.
The multi-million dollar tiff has been dragging on for over a decade, sustained during the present day on DeKalb’s revised claim that the original agreement between DeKalb County and its cities was “unconstitutional” because it “didn’t require the cities to perform any specific services for the county”.
In the world of legal oddities and the influence of cold-hard cash, DeKalb County is attempting to find themselves in the wrong for entering into an unconstitutional agreement with Decatur and its other cities. Apparently any potential public image problems with repeatedly claiming you didn’t know what the heck you were doing go out the window when millions of dollars of delicious capital improvement money is at stake.
The ruling really should come as no huge surprise to anyone who has followed this case from the start, since the Appeals Court ruled this Intergovernmental Agreement between DeKalb and its cities unconstitutional the last time time around, but the Georgia Supreme Court refused to rule on constitutionality since the specific “We didn’t know what we were doing! It’s unconstitutional!” argument was never brought up (or ruled on) at the Superior court level.
So the case was sent back to the trial court and is again making its way up the food chain.
In all likelihood, the cities will appeal this decision, and the case will go back to the Georgia Supreme Court, this time with this new argument. Depending on the decision, Decatur and other DeKalb cities (excluding newer Dunwoody) will either be owed millions in back, unpaid HOST monies that DeKalb hasn’t saved or enter into a new, lesser argeement with the county based on a 2007 law.
h/t: The DNO
Posted by DM