Tucker Q&A: SPLOST/EHOST
Q: What is a SPLOST?
A: The special-purpose local-option sales tax (SPLOST) was enacted in 1985. The SPLOST was conceived and enacted as a county tax for funding capital projects. It is not a City tax, nor is it a joint county-municipal tax like the local-option sales tax (LOST). As a county tax, a SPLOST can only be initiated by the Board of Commissioners.
Q: What is the process for deciding how the funds will be spent?
A: The legislation, Senate Bill 156, determines how the SPLOST proceeds must be spent. DeKalb County and all municipalities must comply with the rules included in the legislation.
Q: When was the SPLOST/EHOST bill passed?
A: The SPLOST/EHOST bill was passed by the Georgia General Assembly on March 30 and signed by Governor Deal on May 8.
Q: How does the City of Tucker get money if voters approve the SPLOST/EHOST?
A: Mayor Frank Auman and City Manager Tami Hanlin have met with DeKalb County leaders to ensure Tucker gets the proper funds should the ballot measure pass. The Tax Commissioner would collect the funds, then distribute to each incorporated city within DeKalb County a share of the SPLOST proportionate to their population.
Q: How much money would Tucker get and how would it be spent?
A: The SPLOST would bring around $33 million to Tucker over the next six years. At least 65 percent of that money would go toward road and drainage improvements and at least 20 percent would go toward multi-modal transportation projects, as well as improvements to fire facilities and citywide safety equipment. The remaining funds – up to 15 percent – would be designated for improvements in parks and recreation and other public facilities.
Q: Who established the revenue estimates for SPLOST?
A: DeKalb County is responsible for estimating the SPLOST revenues expected to be collected over the life of the SPLOST, as well as the costs of all projects to be financed.
Q: How much detail is required in the SPLOST referendum?
A: The SPLOST law requires that the purpose or purposes for which SPLOST revenues will be used be written on the ballot. The degree of specificity is left to the county or municipality imposing the SPLOST. In the City of Tucker, the City Council voted on a list of general project areas where the money will be allocated by percentage (see above).
For complete details on the SPLOST discussion in DeKalb County, the County has set up a website at www.dekalbsplost.com.