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What is SPLOST?

POSTED: February 15, 2009 12:22 a.m.

The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax is a 1 percent tax Hall County has used to fund construction projects and land and equipment purchases since state law made it possible in 1985.

The county-wide tax is optional. Voters decide in a referendum whether to tax themselves for a period of time, usually five or six years, to pay for a specified list of road, utility and other community construction projects.

The amount of money municipalities receive from the tax is based on population, but those allocations also can be decided through an intergovernmental agreement.

State law requires the county to publish an annual report on the progress of each of the projects voters approved in the tax referendum.

If the tax generates more revenue than the amount needed for the approved projects, counties can use the excess revenue to service certain debts. If the tax does not generate enough revenue, however, local governments must either scale back projects or use other revenue sources, such as property tax, to fund them.

Projects cannot be abandoned once voters approve them in a SPLOST referendum.



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