DeKalb CEO, city mayors remind voters SPLOST referendum on ballot

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DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond announced projects that the new 1 percent sales tax would fund, if voters approve three referendums now at stake. | Photo by Glenn L. Morgan

Today, DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond, flanked by mayors and leaders of the 12 cities within the county, announced projects that the new 1 percent sales tax would fund, if voters approve three referendums now at stake.

Early voting for the referendums began on Oct. 16 ahead of the General Election Day on Nov. 7. While city residents will vote on the referendums and their citywide elections, voters in unincorporated DeKalb County will vote only on the referendums.

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said the Special Purpose Local Sales Tax (SPLOST) would transform DeKalb, paving the way for critical infrastructure improvements across the county including roads, a new fire station and 100 new police cars.

“Eighty-five percent of the money raised must be for roads, streets, bridges and public safety… It’s about improving the quality of life for all of our citizens in DeKalb,” said Thurmond.

Over the six-year term of the SPLOST, DeKalb County is expected to receive $388 million, with the 12 cities receiving a portion of $248.7 million based on their population. The cities will use their monies to fund their own infrastructure projects.

If the referendums are passed, the SPLOST will not apply to sales tax on groceries and prescriptions. Also, all homeowners would receive a reduction in their property taxes by the EHOST, Thurmond said.

The ballot questions include:

  • A new EHOST (Equalized Homestead Option Sales Tax), which would replace an existing HOST by applying 100 percent of the revenue to reduce property taxes for homeowners.
  • A special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST), which is an additional one-cent sales tax, which would raise money to repave more than 318 miles of roads in the county and fund other infrastructure repairs. Each city has a unique list of capital improvements for their respective jurisdictions.
  • The continuing freeze on property tax increases for existing homeowners for the six-year period of the SPLOST.

For DeKalb County, the projects to be funded by SPLOST include:

  • Transportation – $240.3 million
  • Public safety – $84.7 million
  • Parks and recreation repairs – $37.3 million
  • General repairs – $20 million

For more information on the DeKalb County SPLOST, go to www.dekalbsplost.com.

For more information about the election, go to www.dekalbvotes.com.

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