FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — County officials have called a special work session to dive deeper into the next Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. The meeting will be at 10 a.m., Nov. 13 at the Forsyth County Administration Building, 110 East Main Street, Suite 210.
The Board of Commissioners recently revisited the topic of SPLOST 8, which would run from July 2019 to June 2025.
SPLOST is a voter-approved, 1-cent sales tax that has been in effect in Forsyth County since 1983. For every dollar spent in Forsyth County that is subject to sales tax, one penny goes into a fund devoted to specific capital improvement projects.
Some of the projects funded through SPLOST programs throughout the years include community buildings at parks, new fire stations and road projects.
While not completely set in stone, the board said it is looking at a countywide vote in November 2018.
County Manager Eric Johnson said estimates, based on an average economy, predict the tax should raise $274 million over its five-year term. Estimates based on a booming economy place the figure at $295 million. If the economy sours, the estimate falls to $242 million.
So far, there have been $429 million in capital funding requests, excluding the courts, health department, the City of Cumming and some public safety.
Parks and recreation takes the largest chunk – more than half – of the requests. Transportation projects account for about one-fourth of the anticipated revenue.
Requests include road widening, public safety training, new libraries, new parks, a new recycling center, a new senior center, new fire hydrant services, construction of a third courtroom in the courthouse and the vehicle replacement program.
The current countywide sales tax, SPLOST 7, was approved in November 2011, collections began in 2013 and it will run through June 30, 2019.
The majority of allocations from that tax went to facilities and transportation, including the courthouse and jail projects along with multiple transportation projects.
Prior to that, SPLOST 6, which ran from 2008-2013, helped pay for various transportation projects, the Sexton Hall Enrichment Center, a new ladder truck for the Fire Department, new Fire Stations 3 and 4, the Post Road Library and a variety of park improvements.