SPLOST VII meetings
What: Public input meetings on proposed SPLOST VII
When: 6 p.m. June 17 in Clermont; 6 p.m. June 19 in Gainesville
Where: Clermont Chattahoochee Center, 639 Main St.; Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St.
Note: Public input can be submitted on the Hall County website, www.hallcounty.org, beginning at 10 a.m. today.
The latest revenue projection for a five-year round of special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST VII, tops $158 million.
Local government officials unveiled the most recent estimate during the first of three public input meetings Tuesday night at the Spout Springs Library.
Hall County residents will vote on whether to approve SPLOST VII this fall, and revenue projections will play a huge role in officials’ ability to sell the 1 percent sales tax to the public.
SPLOST VI was approved by voters in 2009 and is set to expire next year. Initial projections placed revenue for the county and participating cities at about $240 million over the six-year life of the tax. But those estimates have now fallen to $152 million.
Officials had previously projected SPLOST VII would generate about $130 million.
While projects identified for SPLOST funding typically include infrastructure, such as upgrades to roads, buildings and sewer lines, many residents in attendance Tuesday said they wanted funding directed toward libraries and parks.
Hall County Library System Director Adrian Mixson has requested $3.5 million in SPLOST VII funding for building renovations at the Gainesville branch and book purchases.
Mike Little, director of Hall County Parks and Leisure, said he has requested $5 million in SPLOST VII funding to renovate and upgrade current parks. Funding could pay for paving the parking lot at Cool Springs Park, tennis court resurfacing, replacement lighting and playground installation.
Meanwhile, some residents inquired about how they might benefit from SPLOST VII.
Harry Redford and Asberry Turner said they hoped the American Legion in Flowery Branch could benefit in some way.
While support for SPLOST VII was well represented at the meeting, some residents said they remain on the fence about whether to support five more years of the consumption tax.
“I have my questions about it,” said Flowery Branch resident Naomi Rivera.
If she does wind up supporting the tax, Rivera said she wanted funding to go toward improving libraries and sidewalks in the county.