Bill would require disclosure of unused sales tax funds

ATLANTA -- Two Brunswick legislators introduced bills in the House and Senate Thursday that would require local governments to run newspaper ads disclosing leftover money after sales-tax-funded projects are completed.

Rep. Alex Atwood and Sen. William Ligon, both Republicans, sponsored companion bills because of similar circumstances in their part of the state.“We had some areas where that hadn’t been done,” Atwood said without giving any specifics other than saying there was no wrongdoing and the commissioners are no longer in office.

Atwood said his goal is to provide more transparency.

“People have a right to know what’s going on with their dollars,” he said.

Current law requires ads to show estimated costs, the amount spent each year and how they vary from the original estimates.

The proposed law adds leftover funds to that list. It also gives taxpayers and the attorney general the ability to file a lawsuit to force a city or county to publish the details.

“It puts a little bit of teeth in the law,” Atwood said.

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