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Posted: January 4, 2011 6:45 p.m.

County didn’t refund Bridgestone taxes

Bridgestone Golf will not receive an $83,000 tax refund from Newton County for taxes it overpaid in 2006 and 2007, after the Board of Commissioners let the matter lapse.

Bridgestone requested the refund on Nov. 7, 2009, but the board never voted on the matter, which is deemed by law as a denial of the request. County officials said the error was made by Bridgestone, because its employees submitted incorrect figures.

The county discussed the matter in February 2010, but decided to table it and let the county attorney’s office investigate further. County Attorney Tommy Craig said at the time that his office would review the facts and bring a recommendation back to the board.

Chairman Kathy Morgan said in an e-mail Tuesday that the board had decided to not vote and let the request lapse based on the advice of legal counsel. Attorney Jenny Carter said she believed Bridgestone had one year to file an appeal to the Newton County Superior Court, and therefore, the county could not comment further. As of Tuesday, no appeal had been filed. Bridgestone Human Resources Manager Bob Zillgitt said Tuesday that the company had no comment.

Bridgestone originally requested that the money be credited toward its 2009 taxes. The Covington City Council voted 5-1 on Oct. 4 to reimburse Bridgestone for the $23,088.95 the city received in ad valorem taxes, with Councilman Chris Smith opposing. The check was paid to Bridgestone on Nov. 12.

"We felt it was the right thing to do," Mayor Kim Carter said Tuesday.

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