HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw requested that the Board of Elections include a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) referendum on the May 19, 2020 primary ballot.
“The school’s SPLOST tax runs out in October…,” Bradshaw said last week. “Ours will pick up when theirs cuts out, when theirs ends. So there would be no increase on taxes from what it is right now. And the reason we’re asking for the SPLOST tax is to remodel this courthouse and possibly do an addition on it because all of the judges since I have been here have come in and actually told me you all need to do some work here at the courthouse. We’re not handicapped compliant, and there’s several other reasons as you can look around and see. We just need to be updated.
“Also, we would use the money for the fire department to upgrade some of our fire trucks and things like that. Also for our road department to upgrade their equipment. It’s been many, many years since we replaced any of the dump trucks. our backhoe or sidearm machine that mow your banks and things like that. And then we’d also put in there for parks and rec. We might need to do some fencing and things like that at Foster Park.”
Additionally, the City of Hiawassee scheduled a special-called meeting for Monday, Jan. 27 at 6 pm, immediately preceding the council’s regular work session. “It will begin with a special-called meeting to discuss and vote on the SPLOST Referendum and the Fluoride Resolution,” Hiawassee City Clerk Bonnie Kendrick told FYN.
A SPLOST is an optional one percent county sales tax used to fund capital outlay projects proposed by the county government and participating qualified municipal governments. In general, county and municipal governments may not use SPLOST proceeds for operating expenses or maintenance of a SPLOST project1 or any other county or municipal facility or service. SPLOST is levied in what the law refers to as a “special district,” which is comprised of the entire territory of the county calling for the SPLOST. By using special districts, the revenue of a county tax
can be constitutionally shared with participating municipalities. The tax is imposed when the board of commissioners – or in the case of Towns County, the sole commissioner – calls a local referendum (i.e., vote) and the referendum is subsequently passed by the voters within the county.
The tax is collected on items subject to the sales and use tax within the county. The SPLOST is also imposed on the sale of food and nonalcoholic beverages, which are not subject to the state sales tax, and is also imposed on the sale of alcoholic beverages.