We can analyze the impact of tax policy changes and potential changes in revenue. We also maintain the Tax and Expenditure data center. This website contains historical financial information for cities, counties and school systems.
The Georgia Tax and Expenditure Data Center (TED), brings together data from several state agencies to provide users with a more complete look at local government revenues and expenditures in the state.
The Tax and Expenditure Data Center (TED), created and maintained by the Institute of Government, contributes to more informed financial decision making in the public sector. The database organizes county and municipal fiscal data from the Department of Community Affairs, the Department of Revenue and the Department of Audits and Accounts. School district data and census information are also included. The data can be viewed online or downloaded to a spreadsheet for further analysis.
With TED, leaders can access information to help them with such activities as analyzing revenue trends, projecting future revenues, examining tax revenue by category and comparing their government with others in the state.
Tax and Expenditure Data Center can be accessed by clicking the Finance panel on Georgiadata.org
What do I do about artificial revenues due to SPLOST when looking at ARPA funds?
The interim final rule for the use of ARPA funds includes a specific formula for the
calculation of the growth rate to use in the revenue loss calculation. That formula
uses the previous fiscal year’s revenues as the base for the calculation. If the fiscal
year ends on June 30, the formula uses an exponent to adjust for growth over the six
months from the fiscal year end to December 31. This is not shown explicitly in the
spreadsheet; the calculation is in a hidden column.
If SPLOST revenue collections began on 7/1/19, there would be a revenue source that was not included in the growth rate calculation, but will result in greater revenues in calendar years 2020 through 2023 than you would have had otherwise. An adjustment can be made for the amount of new revenue that the SPLOST produces. The only question in the FAQ section on the interim final rule that applies is “How do I know if a certain type of revenue should be counted for the purpose of computing revenue loss?” The answer is to see the definition of “general revenue” in the IFR. Paragraph (a) below is found on page 91 of the IFR. This entire section is about changes in law or policy that result in changes to revenue from what would be expected under the baseline. A change in law or policy can be ignored unless it produces a one (1) percent change or greater to a revenue source. One percent is considered the de minimis threshold under the IFR. Treasury’s concern is a change to law or policy that reduces revenue. Treasury wants to prevent an entity from recovering revenue loss from a change it made to a law or policy.
(a) Tax and other increases in revenue. The recipient government must identify and consider covered changes in policy that the recipient government predicts will have the effect of increasing general revenue in a given reporting year. As when identifying and valuing covered changes that reduce tax revenue, the value of revenue-raising changes may be reported based on estimated values produced by a budget model, incorporating reasonable assumptions, aligned with the recipient government’s existing approach for measuring the effects of fiscal policies, and measured relative to a current law baseline, or based on actual values using a statistical methodology to isolate the change in year-over-year revenue attributable to the covered change(s). Further, and as discussed above, estimation approaches should not use dynamic scoring methodologies that incorporate the effects of macroeconomic growth because growth is accounted for separately under the Interim Final Rule. In general and where possible, reporting should be produced by the agency of the recipient government responsible for estimating the costs and effects of fiscal policy changes. This approach offers recipient governments the flexibility to determine their reporting methodology based on their existing budget scoring practices and capabilities
However, paragraph (a) addresses a change resulting in greater revenue, which would include the adoption of the SPLOST. The local government should use a methodology that isolates the amount of additional revenue attributable to the change in law or policy. This is a simple calculation since the applicable tax rates are known. As information is entered into the reporting portal, there should be a section to make the adjustment for changes to law or policy. It is important to keep information in the ARPA materials documenting exactly how the amount was determined. The instructions found at https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/SLFRF_Treasury-Portal-Recipient-Reporting-User-Guide.pdf indicate that there will be a section in the reporting portal to make this adjustment.