On March 21, 2017, a special election will be held for Newton County residents to vote on the 2017 SPLOST referendum. Your Chamber of Commerce encourages you to vote to continue SPLOST success and there are many compelling reasons why.
The special-purpose local-option sales tax, known as SPLOST, is a 1% tax that generates revenue for funding projects across the county. It is not a tax increase. Rather, it is a continuation of a tax that was originally approved in 1995 and has helped expand and upgrade county facilities and public safety systems, and acquire and improve greenspace.
Revenue generated from SPLOST is critical for projects such as transportation, public safety, and debt reduction, which will receive 86% of the revenue from the 2017 SPLOST. These are projects our community cannot do without. More specifically, included on the list of proposed projects for the 2017 SPLOST are improvements to the Emergency 911 center, improvements and expansion of the county’s senior center, a youth outreach center in the western portion of the county, improvements for parks throughout the county, a multiuse trail along the Yellow River, improvements to the animal shelter and library system, and much-needed equipment and vehicles for the sheriff’s office, fire services, and county staff.
SPLOST is a popular way to fund projects because visitors to the county contribute through their purchases. Revenue will come from retail sales. Based on past retail sales in the county, the funds for the 2017 SPLOST are estimated at $64,800,000. Over 30% of SPLOST revenues are estimated from purchases made by people outside the community. The duration of the SPLOST is predetermined at six years and defines the projects that the money is used for. Projects could be completed early, depending on how quickly the revenue is raised.
The SPLOST Committee has arranged a Facebook Live event on March 15, 2017 from 6-7pm @voteyesSPLOST to help answer questions concerning SPLOST. A first Facebook Live event was held on March 8, 2017, and the recording is available online at https://www.facebook.com/voteyesSPLOST/videos/.
Voter turnout for the 2017 SPLOST referendum is critical. Help spread the word. Help the county continue the success of SPLOST by voting yes! Talk to your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors about the importance of going to the polls and voting yes for SPLOST on March 21, 2017. For your convenience, you can also vote early from now through March 17th at the Board of Elections Office at 1113 Usher Street, Suite 103, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
For information about polling locations on March 21st, to see a sample ballot, for a complete list of the 2017 projects, and more, visit http://www.voteyessplost.org/.