By Charlotte J. Nash, Chairman
Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners
Gwinnett voters have approved the one-penny SPLOST sales tax seven times since 1985. This year, on November 5, it will be on the ballot again.
SPLOST programs have raised more than $2.5 billion for pay-as-you-go capital improvements over the past 28 years, allowing other tax revenues to meet basic service needs for a growing population. These improvements include construction of the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, Gwinnett Center for conventions and concerts, new parks and recreation facilities, new police and fire stations, libraries, Sugarloaf Parkway, Satellite Boulevard, and hundreds of other road improvements around the county.
SPLOST is an acronym for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. By state law, SPLOST revenue must be used for specified capital improvements and collections must end on a specified date. The current program will end next March 31.
If voters approve the new program on November 5, SPLOST collections will continue for three more years, raising an estimated $498 million. The new program will fund transportation improvements primarily – roads, intersections, bridges, and sidewalks – plus parks facilities, public safety equipment, library renovation/relocation, and for the first time, senior facilities.
Gwinnett County and its 16 cities have agreed that the cities share will be 21.1 percent while the County will receive 78.9 percent. Gwinnett will devote 70 percent of its share – an estimated $275 million – to transportation, including $25 million for joint city/county projects.
SPLOST funds bought thousands of improvements, large and small, without borrowing the money – and that has saved us more than a billion dollars in financing costs. Citizen volunteers help prioritize projects and provide oversight to make sure we deliver on our promises.
Sales tax in Gwinnett will stay the same: a 4-cent state tax, a penny for schools, and a penny for County government infrastructure, facilities, and equipment. All spending will be audited annually with required reports posted on city and county websites. For more, visit http://www.gwinnettsplost.com.