Legalities remain, but the handwriting on the wall in the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center on Tuesday would tell you that there will be a SPLOST vote in Gwinnett in November.
"This is critical," Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist said Tuesday at a meeting of Gwinnett and cities leaders in Lawrenceville regarding a possible 2014 SPLOST. "Without SPLOST dollars Lilburn would be in a dire position."
Gwinnett Commission Chairman Charlotte Nash agreed about the importance of funds derived from the 1 percent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, which went into effect in 2009 and expires in 2013.
"A lot of things wouldn't get done" if voters say no to its renewal in November.
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Gwinnett and its cities have derived an average of $11 million monthly from the current tax, according to the county website.
SPLOST funds have to be used for capital improvements, such as road projects and building construction. They can't be used for operating expenses, such as salaries and maintenance costs.
Other representatives of Gwinnett's 16 cities also spoke about how SPLOST funds have helped.
Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson talked about the Skin Alley project, Sugar Hill mayor Gary Pirkle described a new City Hall, and Braselton Council Member Peggy Slappey talked about that city's 11.7 mile Lifepath walkway.
Three issues still remain for the Gwinnett Board of Commissioners before they can formally call for a referendum:
- length of the 2014 tax, three or five years;
- funding allocation, or how the money is divided between the county and the cities;
- purposes of the incoming funds; county officials recommend that 70-75 percent be spent on transportation projects.
Because a SPLOST is now in place in Gwinnett, renewing the measure for 2014 would present no new spending burden for taxpayers. And the funds would have to be spent in Gwinnett County.
- Gwinnett Wants 2014 SPLOST to Be 70-75% for Transportation