In an apparent error of equipment classification, local employer Bridgestone Golf overpaid their 2006 and 2007 taxes to the city of Covington and Newton County by a combined $108,000.
The company has asked both the city and county to apply the overpaid taxes to their unpaid 2009 taxes.
We feel this is a reasonable request and that both the city and county should honor it — perhaps by applying smaller credits over a few years.
Newton County Commissioner Ernest Simmons did vote to table the request for further discussion but implied since the error was made by Bridgestone the county shouldn’t have to absorb more debt.
We are more than sure that if the shoe were on the other foot and Bridgestone owed the county and the city back taxes, they would have gone after the company with a vengeance in order to collect the money owed to them. We are even surer that if Mr. Simmons was owed back taxes because of his own error, he would accept nothing less than recouping the full amount.
Perhaps Simmons’ grandstanding can be credited with this being an election year.
Bridgestone Golf has been an excellent corporate partner to this community. We wish we had more industries like Bridgestone or General Mills or SKC in Newton County.
Playing games with corporate taxes certainly will not draw more industry to our borders.