LOST loss for local cities?

Lee County officials still haven't come up with a solution to the Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) split.

According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Smithville has a population of only 575 people. Lee County officials believe it's only fair to cut Smithville's LOST funds from 11.5 percent to a number that reflects the amount of people proportionally to the entire county.

"We discussed doing a split of lost similar to that of SPLOST which is 10.6 for Leesburg and 3.13 for Smithville," said Rick Muggridge, Lee County Commissioner.

However, 3.13 percent isn't the exact representation of Smithville's population. It's almost double the amount. This is something Leesburg officials say isn't fair.

"We want to be treated fairly we provide a lot of service in Leesburg. There's a lot of non taxable property in Leesburg and the daytime population in Leesburg is tremendous," said Jim Quinn, Leesburg Mayor.

He says taking a cut from 17 percent to 10 percent would drain his city.

After throwing numbers back and forth, the meeting ended with one option on the table; 13 percent for Leesburg, 7percent for Smithville, and 80 percent for Lee County.

"That'll get us by. We still got to raise that millage rate but it will get us by," said Jerry Myrick, Smithville Mayor.

Officials will meet again next week to hammer out all the details.