If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.
What percentage of Hall County’s special purpose local option sales tax does Buford get? What percentage of Buford residents live in Hall County?
A small section of northern Buford lies in Hall County. That area has 946 residents, which make up 0.53 percent of the total county population, according to Tim Sims, the Financial Services and Purchasing Manager for the Hall County Board of Commissioners.
The city of Buford gets 0.0587 percent of Hall County’s SPLOST VI revenues. All of the cities within Hall County combined get 18.734 percent of the SPLOST revenue, Buford gets approximately 0.3133 percent of that amount.
SPLOST VI was originally expected to generate total revenues of $240 million over its six-year lifespan for capital investments in local infrastructure, according to Hall County’s website, and Buford was to get $140,880 of that.
The SPLOST law allows Georgia counties to impose a 1 percent sales tax to be used specifically for capital improvement projects. Operation and maintenance costs are not authorized. Hall County has had a SPLOST in effect for all but 3 1/2 years since 1984.
What happened to the bicycles the Flowery Branch Police Department bought? Where are they now and what are they being used for?
The bicylces were not purchased with tax revenues or budget money. They were paid for with money seized from drug dealers and awarded to the police department through civil asset forfeiture, said Police Chief David Spillers. He was unsure about the cost of the bikes because they were purchased under a previous administration.
The bikes are still in the possession of the police department, which uses them from time to time in different circumstances. So far this year they have been used to conduct specialized patrols and have been used in several special events. They’re mostly used within the city limits but have occasionally been taken to other areas for special events, Spillers said.