Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) is a 1% tax on all sales and uses in Newton County. SPLOST is used only for infrastructure and debt services. The 2017 SPLOST is anticipated to raise an estimated $64,800,000 for county and municipal projects.
Calculations are made based on previous year county sales to estimate what funding might be possible with the additional penny tax. From that amount, budgets are created for priority projects and estimates are made as to how distribute the funds to those projects. This information is placed on the ballot for the public referendum for voting.
The SPLOST accrual period is typically five or six years during which the funds are accrued. Depending on the economy and urgency of need, some projects may be bonded in order to begin before all the money has accrued. The bond is then repaid with the SPLOST funds. The sales tax will be imposed for six years.
The 2017 SPLOST was approved by Newton County voters on March 21, 2017.
Each municipality within Newton County came up with a list of projects they felt are needed in their city or town and the county put together a committee of citizens to come up with items that will be paid for through SPLOST moneys.
Such county projects include:
- Improvements and expansion of the county’s senior center
- Improvements for parks throughout the county
- Improvements to the animal shelter and equipment and vehicles for the sheriff’s office, fire services and county staff
- Improvements to the emergency 911 center
- Infrastructure for the county’s library system
- A youth outreach for the west side
The following is a list of SPLOST information beginning in 1986 for the purpose of constructing the Cornish Creek Reservoir / Lake Varner: