SPLOST moved

The latest proposal for continuing the county’s local option sales tax can’t be put to a vote in June as announced last week, but will have to be held in November.

County Manager Jason Rubenbauer announced this week that the county has to move the election from June 18 to November 5.

“We have been advised by the Secretary of State’s office that changes to the elections code will not allow for a June vote,” he said.

Rubenbauer said the county commission will have a new call for election ready to vote on by the board’s next meeting Tuesday, May 7.  

The proposed SPLOST, if approved by voters, is projected to generate $14.4 million over the next six years.

The current SPLOST, approved in 2014, will sunset March 31, 2020 and the new tax would begin once the old one ends. The current SPLOST is projected to generate $10 million and is expected to sunset a little early based on better than expected revenues.

The county expects to get about $9.4 million as its share of the proceeds and plans to use $3.2 million for construction for a new jail, $1.3 million to retire the mortgage on the Southeast Georgia Regional Agriculture Center (SEGARAC), $1.8 million for public safety equipment, $1.7 million for road maintenance and $1.1 million for parks and recreation.

Blackshear council passed the resolution earlier this month.

Blackshear  will use approximately $1.9 million of its $3.55 million for water and sewer construction and maintenance, followed by $889,200 for road maintenance and construction. The city is also allocating $355,680 for public safety and $320,112 for recreation/historical/downtown projects.

Patterson will also be using the bulk of its $992,160 share of the proceeds to pay for water and sewer infrastructure repairs.

Offerman will be looking to build a community/emergency shelter and pave additional roads in the city with its portion of the tax, which is about $437,760.

Proceeds from the tax will be divided between the county and cities roughly based on population.

The county will receive the bulk of the funds at 65.37 percent. Blackshear gets 24.7 percent, Patterson, 6.89 percent, and Offerman gets 3.04 percent.