Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

September 15, 2013

SPLOST committee gears up for election

VALDOSTA — In preparation for the Nov. 5 general election, the citizens committee assisting the governments in campaigning for the passage of the seventh Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or SPLOST, is working to get the message out.

Committee Chairman Suzan Prince and James McGahee have been meeting with a number of civic leaders and organizations in recent weeks and are preparing for an information session for citizens on Friday. Both are strong supporters of the referendum and continuing the tax, which will bring $150,000,000 to Lowndes County and the five muncipalities of Valdosta, Remerton, Lake Park, Hahira, and Dasher over six years — one penny at a time.

Although voters did not approve the SPLOST resolution in 2012, Prince said this year everything’s different.

“Since the last referendum, local governments have gone back to the drawing board, evaluated local infrastructure, public safety needs and facility conditions to put together a ‘back to basics’ SPLOST list that more accurately reflects the challenges our community is facing with regards to improvements required to ensure our community continues to move forward,” she said.

McGahee added, “I look at SPLOST VII as an investment in our community, not a tax on our community. SPLOST is not a new tax — it has been in effect for 20 years and has contributed significantly to the growth of our community.”

He said one thing voters need to keep in mind is that the project lists for this SPLOST contain necessities.

“The projects to be voted on, for the most part, have to be done even if SPLOST is voted down. Most likely bonds would be utilized and the interest on the 20-year bonds would substantially drive up the costs,” he said.

 At more than $55 million, the largest single project included on the SPLOST ballot is the city’s wastewater treatment plant relocation and repairs to the current infrastructure.

With Valdosta receiving 53 percent of the proceeds, that still leaves around $25 million for other city projects.

Lowndes County will receive nearly 42 percent, or $62 million; Hahira will receive $3.7 million; Remerton, $1.5 million; Dasher, $1.2 million and Lake Park, $1 million.

 McGahee said that the extra penny currently being paid helps fund only local projects, and is a consumption tax.

“SPLOST tax, unlike income tax, is not applied to your gross income. It applies to purchases that the taxpayer makes and not all purchases are taxable. On average, consumption spending equals about 30 percent of a taxpayer’s gross income. For example, a taxpayer with $45,000 of gross income has only about $13,500 in consumption spending. That yields 1 percent of $13,500 or $135 per year for SPLOST tax. In return, the taxpayer is getting roads, bridges, public-safety facilities and services, judicial facilities, recreation facilities, and most importantly, water and sewer infrastructure.”

Since voters turned down the referendum in 2012, Lowndes County had to request a special waiver from the Georgia Department of Revenue. Otherwise, the tax collections would have ceased on Jan. 1, 2014 even if the referendum passes this year. In order for there to not be an interruption in the sales tax collections, the Department of Revenue waived the waiting period following the election.

If the referendum fails in November, the one cent sales tax will stop Jan.1, 2014 and it will be another year before it can be placed on a ballot again.

For Prince, SPLOST collections are the smartest way for the community to grow and prosper.

“I believe that communities do not stand still. They are either moving forward or sliding backwards. My hope is that as local citizens we can continue to move forward, planning for positive growth so that future generations will want to remain here and raise their families in the community that I love.”

Prince wants to encourage all voters to become more educated regarding SPLOST.

At 8:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 20, an informational meeting will be held at the Valdosta City Hall Annex, 300 N. Lee St.

“I would encourage anyone interested in learning more about SPLOST, and/or becoming a part of SPLOST VII Steering Committee to attend,” she said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Jim Zachary Mug shot.jpg Zachary named The Valdosta Daily Times’ editor

    Veteran newspaper editor Jim Zachary has assumed the editor’s chair at The Valdosta Daily Times.
    During the past two decades Zachary has been one of the most decorated community newspaper journalists in Georgia and Tennessee.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728-griner001.jpg Griner takes oath

     Surrounded by family, friends, and fellow commissioners, Clay Griner took the oath of office Monday morning as the Lowndes County Super District 5 commissioner.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140728-man_hunt001.jpg Dump truck thieves sought

    Authorities continued searching for suspects Monday evening connected to a stolen dump truck involved in a chase with law-enforcement.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • City workers strike natural gas main

    A gas leak evacuated a neighborhood Monday when workers struck a natural gas main.

    July 29, 2014

  • education.jpg Desegregation status approved

    Forty-three years after an initial lawsuit was filed to force the system to desegregate, Valdosta City Schools has officially been approved for “unitary status.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ARociewilliams_002.jpg Woman shares nearly a century of lessons

    With nearly 100 years of life under her belt, Ocie Viola Williams has plenty of advice to share with the world. Her top two pieces of advice: know the importance of education and don’t expect a teacher to raise your child for you. 

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • psst1 photo page copy.jpg PSST! finishes peachy season

    Peach State Summer Theatre concluded its 2014 season Sunday, a season which broke attendance records for the professional musical theatre company.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_2381.jpeg Award-winning young professionals share success secrets

    The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber’s MetroOne Young Professionals hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn to highlight successful business practices.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140726_summerlibrary002.jpg Library celebrates end of summer reading program

    With the first day of school just around the corner, students are soaking in the last few weeks of summer vacation. The end of summer also means the end of the South Georgia Regional Library’s 2014 summer reading program.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • artseason1 copy.jpg A sneak peek at some area arts organizations’ 2014-15 seasons

    Beethoven. Tennessee Williams. Non-stop art. Two versions of “The Wizard of Oz.” The 2014-15 arts season is coming.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results