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County hired lobbyist to fight airport anti-tax bill

Lobbyist William Murphy Talmadge explains the work he does to the Clayton County Board of Commissioners Tuesday. The Commission hired Talmadge to lobby state legislators to vote against House Bill 399, which would cut millions of dollars from the county’s tax collections.

Lobbyist William Murphy Talmadge explains the work he does to the Clayton County Board of Commissioners Tuesday. The Commission hired Talmadge to lobby state legislators to vote against House Bill 399, which would cut millions of dollars from the county’s tax collections.

— The Clayton County Board of Commissioners has hired a Lovejoy-based lobbyist to help it defeat a piece of legislation that could collectively cost it and the county’s school system a total of $12.6 million in tax revenues.

The Commission voted 3-2 Tuesday to hire William Murphy Talmadge from Twelve Oaks, LLC, to lobby state senators to vote against House Bill 399. If the bill becomes law, Clayton County’s tax commissioners office will be barred from collecting ad valorem taxes from businesses leasing space at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Chairman Jeff Turner and Commissioners Sonna Singleton and Gail Hambrick voted in favor of Talmadge’s hiring.

Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission records show Talmadge registered with the state as a lobbyist March 11 — one day before he and representatives of two other lobbying firms presented their credentials to the commission.

Read Saturday’s edition of Clayton News Daily for additional details on Talmadge’s hiring.