Plans are moving forward for SPLOST VIII, a sales tax that is set to go before voters in November and would be in effect July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2026.
The tax would be used to fund capital projects for Hall County and its municipalities, with the largest percentage of the money going toward road improvements.
Zach Propes, the county’s financial services director, updated the county’s municipalities on SPLOST, the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, at a meeting of Hall County’s Joint Municipal Association Monday evening.
The tax, if approved, is projected to bring in about $217 million. Here’s how that money would be split between the county and its cities:
Hall County: 69.75%
Flowery Branch: 3.75%
Rest Haven: 0.02%
Those allocations were determined using July 1, 2017, U.S. Census population estimates, Propes said.
Road improvements would use the largest portion of the money, with about $73.6 million set aside for those projects. One major improvements planned is the Sardis connector, which would go from Dawsonville Highway/Ga. 53 in West Hall, starting at the intersection of Sardis and Chestatee roads, to Thompson Bridge Road/Ga. 60 in North Hall, ending near Mount Vernon Road. The widening of Spout Springs Road in South Hall is another long-planned road project that would get some SPLOST funding.
$6 million has been set aside for parks, $6 million for public safety and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, and $7 million would go to fire services. Also, about $38.9 million has been proposed for countywide Tier II projects, or relatively large projects that would benefit the county as a whole.
Some proposed Tier II projects are a parking deck in downtown Gainesville across the street from the Gainesville branch of the Hall County Library System, an expansion of the county’s fire training center, funding for a new library in East Hall, and a new cell at the Hall County Landfill. $7 million has been proposed for trails and greenspace, including bike paths from Clermont to Gillsville and the Highlands to Islands Trail, a planned countywide trail network.
The county’s municipalities are set to sign an agreement for SPLOST VIII by Aug. 21. The referendum would go to voters on Nov. 5.