Hall County’s next penny sales tax could help fund major road projects as well as a new library, fire training center and expansion of the county landfill.
County and city representatives listed those priorities, among others, at a meeting Monday, Dec. 10, about the proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax VIII.
The sales tax, which is 1 percent on items also subject to state sales tax, would go before voters Nov. 5, 2019. If approved, it would be in effect July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2026.
County Administrator Jock Connell said SPLOST is projected to bring in about $197 million over those six years.
Priorities discussed included:
- Funding road projects, including the Sardis Connector and widening of Spout Springs Road: $76 million
- Building a parking deck by the Gainesville branch of the Hall County Library System, $4 million
- Expanding the Hall County Landfill, $4 million
- Replacing two to three ambulances a year, $3 million
- Fire training center, $2.6 million
- Helping build a new library on Ga. 365: $2 million
- Making heating and air conditioning improvements at the Hall County Government Center: $1.7 million
- Making mechanical repairs at the Hall County Courthouse: $1.08 million
The tax, which is used for capital improvement projects, must be approved by a referendum, and the first one was passed by Hall County voters in 1985 by 53 percent of voters. The program has been gaining popularity with voters since then, with SPLOST VII being approved by 63 percent of voters in March 2015.
Connell said since the first SPLOST was approved in 1985, the county has raised about $700 million for capital projects.
Projects funded by SPLOST dollars over the years include the Hall County Government Center, expansions at the Hall County Courthouse, several roads and bridges projects, and replacements of emergency vehicles.
“If you can imagine this community minus $700 million of roads, bridges, parks, senior centers and I can go on and on. Think about it what it would look like,” Connell said.