FORT OGLETHORPE, GA. (Times Free Press) -- Costco, Walmart, Kmart and Home Depot are all inside Fort Oglethorpe's city limits and ring up a lot of sales tax dollars throughout the year.
Yet when the local option sales tax -- 1 cent from every $1 purchase -- is divvied up, Fort Oglethorpe gets only 20 percent, while Catoosa County takes 70 percent and Ringgold comes in third with a 10 percent share.
Fort Oglethorpe's percentage added up to $1.9 million in 2011 -- nothing to sneeze at. In fact, local option sales tax -- known as LOST -- is the single largest source of income for the city's general fund, outstripping even property tax, which generated $1.3 million in 2011.
But Fort Oglethorpe city officials wouldn't mind getting a larger slice of the LOST pie. An extra 10 percent, for example, would have brought in another $800,000 in 2011. Multiplied over the decade-long distribution period for LOST money, that adds up to $8 million.