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McDONOUGH – It’s official: SPLOST V has been approved by Henry County voters.

The fifth iteration of Henry County’s Special-Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was approved at the polls by county voters, with 8,601 voters voting in favor of the referendum, or 52.78% of the total. A total of 7,696 voters voted against the referendum, or 47.22%.

The 1% sales tax will continue to be collected, but will now go to fund SPLOST V projects starting April 2020.

The vote marks the culmination of the county’s efforts to make the fifth version of SPLOST a reality, a process that got going last July when the county’s citizen ballot committee was formed.

The program approved by county voters is a five-year program that will be worth $204 million, rather than the originally proposed six-year plan worth $245 million.

The SPLOST was cut after the county refused to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the four cities that would involve a 70/30 revenue split. As a result, the cities of McDonough, Stockbridge, Hampton and Locust Grove are set to receive less than they would have with a six-year program.

However, because the county decided against an intergovernmental agreement, they were able to put a group of projects called “Level 2 Projects” in the SPLOST. These projects, headlined by the $22 million Henry County Aquatic Center centrally located near Interstate 75, will receive all of their funding before the county and the cities split the remaining SPLOST revenue down a 70/30 split.

A total of $77,143,937 will go to roads, bridges, sidewalks and transportation facilities in the county; $19,600,063 will go to parks and recreation facilities; $1.1 million will fund public building development, construction and renovation; and the remainder of the fleet replacement program will be funded at $12,728,694.

Three police precincts, in districts 2, 3 and 4, will also be funded at a cost of $1.5 million each.

SPLOST V vote slightly closer than SPLOST IV voteBy percentages, the vote for SPLOST V was about as close as the vote that approved the current SPLOST IV.

On Nov. 5, 2013, SPLOST IV passed with 53.72% of the vote, or 4,700 votes in favor, while 4,593 ballots were cast against that sales tax, or 46.28%.

A total of 9,293 votes were cast in that 2013 SPLOST referendum.

Both of those races were much closer than in 2007, when SPLOST was overwhelmingly approved by county voters.

In 2007, when SPLOST III was passed by Henry County voters, 6,286 voters cast their ballots in favor of the sales tax, or 69.27%. A total of 2,789 voters, or 30.73%, were opposed to SPLOST that year.

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Government Reporter

A native of Hampton, Georgia, Joe Adgie has worked for the Valdosta Daily Times, Clayton News, Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen. Adgie joined the Henry Herald in April 2018.

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