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New SPLOST Vote Possible, Mayors Must Meet to Decide

The current sales tax expires in March 2014, and leaders must approve a new election. What should Lilburn's mayor decide?

Lilburn and Gwinnett voters, get ready -- again. Gwinnett County could offer up a new SPLOST vote in 2013.

The current Special Purpose Local Option Sales tax, which was approved by voters in 2008, expires in March 2014. For the process to continue, voters must approve a new tax.

A new SPLOST vote is possible for November, according to county spokesperson Joe Sorenson. According to state law, a vote could only be held in March or November, but March would be too soon for all requirements to be met.

Among the requirements: commissioners and mayors in the county must meet to discuss potential SPLOST projects. No such meeting is scheduled. Patch has reached out to Lilburn Mayor Johnny Crist for a comment on this topic, and we will share his answer once received.

According to county spokesperson Joe Sorenson, Chairman Charlotte Nash has recently gone on the record as stating that the ballot purposes must be restricted to basic needs that voters clearly understand. The two purposes she feels certain will be included are transportation and public safety.

Sorenson noted that Nash anticipates that the Board of Commissioners will offer multiple ways for the public to offer opinions on what they see are priority needs for the community, and expects to utilize a citizens committee to develop recommended priorities for projects.

SPLOST funds can only be used for capital improvements, not for such things as salaries.

As noted on the Gwinnett County website, since the 1980s, SPLOST funds have funded such projects as the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center, the Gwinnett Center convention facilities, acres of greenspace, and roads such as new Sugarloaf Parkway and Satellite Boulevard.

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