Moving Ahead With SPLOST VI is Common Cents

Moving Ahead With SPLOST VI is Common Cents

Pennies really do add up. SPLOST, or Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, is one cent added to the sales tax you pay on purchased items. Through SPLOST, your pennies pay for improvements to roads, buildings, parks, public safety, and water and sewer service. Since 1985, SPLOST has been a tool to keep property taxes low while providing a higher quality of life for the growing population. SPLOST V expires on June 30, 2009. This is not a new tax and everyone pays this penny in sales tax, not just property owners. On Tuesday, March 17 Hall County citizens will vote on a referendum for SPLOST VI. If approved, the one cent sales tax will be collected from July 2009 through June 2015.

History of SPLOST

• SPLOST I, approved in 1985, generated total revenues of $25 million for road, street and bridge improvements.

• SPLOST II, approved in 1988, generated total revenues of $35 million for a detention center, civic center, Chicopee Woods and Elachee, and a farmers market.

• SPLOST III, approved in 1994, generated total revenues of $78.2 million for the Hall County Courthouse expansion, health department, water and wastewater projects and landfills.

• SPLOST IV, approved in 1999, generated total revenues of $116.3 million (98% complete) for over $37 million in roads, $30 million in sewer projects, $16 million in parks and some $10 million in fire services.

• SPLOST V, approved in 2004, concludes June 30. As of August 31, 2008, $109 million has been collected. Projects of SPLOST V include the new Spout Springs Library in South Hall County ($4 million with $2 million acquired from state funding); a new $16 million radio system to improve communications in critical times of emergency; a new $54 million Detention Center, the largest capital project ever undertaking in Hall County; the new East Hall Community Center; $3 million to the new Frances Meadows Aquatic Center and the engineering, resurfacing and paving of roads, including the completion of Dawsonville Highway, Thurmon Tanner Parkway and several major intersections.

What Will the SPLOST VI Include?

Government officials and community leaders have worked over a year to develop projects that meet the needs of the local government and the community. Eight of the 15 “Big Ideas” of VISION 2030 are funded in SPLOST VI.

Public Works – $72 million: Public works projects consist primarily of road work. SPLOST will fund design and engineering to widen Spout Springs Road, Candler Highway and Old Cornelia Highway; partial construction funding is expected to come from the state. The Sardis Road Connector will be completed through SPLOST VI.

Water and Sewer – $53 Million: To accommodate quality development, sewer infrastructure will be extended to Highway 365 in North Hall and Highway 53 and 211 in South Hall. Capacity will be expanded to 1.5 million gallons per day in the 365 corridor, where industrial and residential growth is expected.

Building Construction – $28 Million: Building projects include construction of a North Hall library ($3 million), the relocation of the Sheriff’s Headquarters and Patrol Division ($10 million), replacement of the 45-year-old Correctional Institution ($5 million), and expansion of a health department clinic for women and children ($5 million). Funding also will go toward relocation of the Green Street Post Office ($3 million), construction of a new visitors center ($1.5 million) and airport improvements ($500,000).

Parks and Leisure – $21 Million: Community parks ($11 million) with sports fields and walking trails are planned in North and South Hall on land purchased with SPLOST V funds. A community center in North Hall ($5.5 million) will have basketball courts, a community meeting room and exercise facilities.

Hall County Courthouse and Administration – $17 Million: The old courthouse, now called the Courthouse Annex, will be rehabilitated to maximize use, and the old State Courtroom will be restored. To accommodate future court growth, the annex will be converted into courtroom space.

Fire and Emergency Services – $4 Million: Hall County Fire Services is in need of a new ladder truck and ambulances. Two ambulances will be replaced each year.

Municipal Projects – $44.79 Million: City projects include municipal buildings, a fire station replacement, downtown parking and streetscapes, road resurfacing, sidewalks, parks and recreation, water and sewer improvements and police car replacements.

Moving ahead with SPLOST is just COMMON CENTS! Vote YES for SPLOST VI on Tuesday, March 17. Early voting is now available at the Hall County Registrar’s Office on Browns Bridge Road in Gainesville.

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