Monday, December 24, 2012

Attorney payments due in 10 days

Did you know that lawyers in the City of Decatur are required to pay an occupation tax by the end of each year?  The bill is for $400 plus a $25 administration fee.  Revenues from the tax are used to provide quality services to the public.

Some attorneys have previously questioned the City’s occupation tax on attorneys on the basis of Barnes v. City of AtlantaBarnes holds that such taxes must be revenue measures only, not regulatory in nature.  Decatur’s occupation tax ordinance expressly states that the occupation tax is levied “for revenue purposes only and is not for regulatory purposes” (Sec. 22-14).

We mailed out bills to local attorneys on Oct. 31.  Normally, payments are due by Dec. 31, but this year City Hall will be closed on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.  Therefore, lawyers' occupation taxes for 2012 are due on Jan. 2, 2013.

Checks can be mailed to the City of Decatur, P.O. Box 220, Decatur GA  30031.  Payments can also be made in-person at 509 N. McDonough St. by cash, check or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or Discover).  Please return the bottom portion of the invoice you received when you pay so we can post your payment to the right record.  If you did not receive your bill, or if you received a bill but no longer practice law in the City, please let us know.

We appreciate all the attorneys who have chosen to practice law in the City of Decatur.  And  thanks also to the 50 attorneys who have already paid for this year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Welcome aboard, Tanya Sims!

If you paid your property taxes in person this installment, you probably noticed a new employee at the window.  Tanya Sims has joined the City’s workforce after serving five years at the Fulton County tax commissioner’s office handling property tax, motor vehicle tax, and front line customer service.  We are fortunate to have an employee with her expertise and experience, but we’re even more excited her charm and positive attitude.

We chose Tanya out of 150 applicants this summer after a rigorous selection process that included and a phone interview, an in-person panel interview, a written/math assessment, and background and reference checks.  Tanya is looking forward to working one more month with us to complete her initial six-month evaluation period.  She intends to stay with the City as long as possible, which means "till y'all get rid of me!" she says.

Like all of our Revenue staff, Tanya handles customer service, processes tax payments, homestead exemptions, deposits, and permit payments.  Tanya will also have the opportunity to work closely with businesses on their occupation tax and annual license renewals like Kate Hall, the employee she replaced.

Tanya has always enjoyed spending time in Decatur, which was part of the reason that she applied for this position.  A DeKalb County resident, Tanya has a son who participates in City of Decatur basketball programs.  Tanya has previously served as a volunteer during the Decatur Tour of Homes.

Please join me in welcoming her to the team!