What is SPLOST?
The special purpose local option sales tax law, enacted by Georgia legislators in 1985, authorizes a county tax of 1 percent on items subject to the state sales tax for funding capital projects. It is neither a municipal tax, nor a joint county-municipal tax such as the regular local option sales tax. SPLOST revenue must be used for specific capital outlays (operations and maintenance expenditures are not authorized) such as courthouses, jails, roads and bridges. Projects financed via SPLOST are intended to benefit the county as a whole — either standing alone or in combination with other county capital outlay projects or municipal capital outlay projects.
If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following question was submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.
Were the Francis Meadows Center and the city parking deck part of a previous SPLOST? If so, why are city residents still paying for both of them?
Both the Francis Meadows Center and the Georgia Mountains parking deck were funded by special purpose local option sales taxes, but not entirely.
“Most capital projects have more than one funding source,” said Beverly Williams, financial services manager for Gainesville.
“The parking deck was partially financed through SPLOST V and Frances Meadows was partially funded through SPLOST IV. So both of them did receive some SPLOST money, but both of them are being funded through property taxes as well,” she said.
Gainesville residents will find their property taxes have a segment for debt services, Williams said.
“That debt service is helping pay for both the Frances Meadows Center and the parking deck. Both of those are being funded through the debt service on the property tax bill.”
For the fees, Williams said there are no additional ones for the parking deck, only the Frances Meadows Center.
“With Frances Meadows, those user fees are to help cover the ongoing costs in running the facility,” Williams said.
“SPLOST funds were for the construction and general building of the Frances Meadows Center and the parking deck,” she said.
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