STOCKBRIDGE – SPLOST V, or Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, continues to take shape, and now the county’s four cities are looking at what projects they would like to see in the sales tax.
The city of Stockbridge held a SPLOST meeting on Monday at the Merle Manders Conference Center in downtown Stockbridge, as city officials, led by City Manager Randy Knighton, sought feedback from members of the community. During the event, attendees asked questions and provided a list of items they felt should be prioritized over others.
“We want to make sure we gave the citizens the opportunity to weigh in on SPLOST,” Knighton said. “We’re going to compile all of this. This is one piece of information that we’ll have and we’ll use for our elected officials. We want to piece all of this information together and give our elected officials the most information we can from citizens so they can use it in contemplating how a SPLOST V list would look.”
The city manager provided residents with information on what a SPLOST can and cannot do and what cities and the county can and cannot put on the referendum for county voters.
Knighton said the city will have an estimated $24 million to work with for SPLOST V if it is passed by Henry County voters in November. Stockbridge, McDonough, Hampton and Locust Grove will have an estimated $61 million shared between them should the referendum pass.
SPLOST V will be the fifth iteration of SPLOST, a 1% sales tax. The county is in the process of determining its own project list that will go on the SPLOST referendum. Knighton said the county cannot overrule the project list of a city.
The referendum is an “all or nothing” question. If voters approve the referendum, the county and its four cities will be obligated to build every item included in the project list. However, if voters deny the referendum, none of the projects will be built using SPLOST funds.
If approved, SPLOST V collections will begin in April, starting when SPLOST IV collections cease at the end of March. The county has estimated it will receive around $245 million from the sales tax.