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Business-led committee behind push for SPLOST
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The Hall Progress 2015 Committee, a group of local business leaders, is spearheading a campaign to pass SPLOST VII.

The group is spending upward of $20,000 on radio, print and Web advertisements, including in The Times and on, urging voters to support the tax.

“We are taking more of an educational approach, even though we are advocates,” said John Vardeman, who oversees marketing for the committee.

The committee is targeting its ads toward voters who might benefit most from projects funded by SPLOST VII. That includes elderly residents who might support proposed renovations to the Senior Life Center; patrons of the Gainesville library branch, which is also earmarked for renovations; and parents whose children play in local sports leagues interested in the planned youth athletic complex.

Additionally, the committee is using social media and a website,, to get out its message.

Committee members said the SPLOST VII project list is all about economic development, and that shifting the tax burden from property owners to consumers is the best way to pay for infrastructure projects.

“We believe that getting the electorate out to vote is our primary goal because of our conviction that the majority, especially property owners, are ultimately in favor of continuing the one-penny sales tax,” Vardeman said.

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