Posted on April 3, 2013
During the last City Commission meeting, Dr. Erwin Jackson alerted city commissioners that the City’s utility department was charging state sales tax on electricity provided to certain customers that were exempt from the tax. To make his point, Mr. Jackson showed documentation that included a refund from the city to Mr. Jackson of approximately $5600 for sales tax collected on electricity provided to one of his businesses.
Commissioner Gil Ziffer asked the city manager to look into the issue.
One week later, it is clear that Dr. Jackson has the facts on his side. Tallahassee Reports talked to staff in the electric utility department and verified that some citizens are exempt from sales tax on electricity. But here is the problem. To receive the exemption you must fill out a form and send it to the city. Also, the city, per state law, will only refund the collected sales tax for the last three years.
Dr. Jackson is upset that he had to pay a 50% commission to a company out of Atlanta to find out about the exemption he was due. “Why isn’t our own utility helping out the citizens?” Now Mr. Jackson wants everybody to know they may be due a refund. He also wants the city to give back refunds for more than three years.
“It is unbelievable that the electric utility department has not been proactive in helping citizens and small business owners keep as much of their money as possible during this tough economic times,” said Dr. Jackson.
Dr. Jackson plans on making another presentation at the next city commission meeting on April 10, 2013.