Recently the Georgia Supreme Court released a few of it’s decisions. To a non-lawyer like me, reading through the decisions can be quite tedious. Thankfully there is a SCOTUS Blog like blog for the Georgia Supreme Court. The folks over at Strickland Brockington and Lewis have their own SCOG Blog and have been so kind as to break down the recent decisions for all of us lay people.
One of the more interesting decisions is the last one on that blog post, Turner County vs. City of Ashburn et. al. The case all started over a fight about Local Option Sales Tax and how to divvy up the spoils between the County and the Cities within the county. The case was argued in June and I’m going to default to the lawyers at SCOG Blog to explain the decision.
On October 7, 2013, the Supreme Court unanimously reversed in part and vacated in part. Writing for the Court, Justice Benham gave an extensive history of the LOST statute and then turned to consideration of the key question: whether the judicial resolution procedure of the LOST statute violates the separation of powers doctrine in the Georgia constitution. The Court then explained that the procedure does violate the separation of powers doctrine and found that portion of the LOST statute unconstitutional. The legislative amendment in 2010 which provided the superior court to resolve the question of tax distribution allows judicial resolution of an exclusively legislative power, the power to tax.