The 1-percent (penny-on-a-dollar) sales tax runs in five-year cycles. The tax cannot be renewed unless approved by voters.
The current SPLOST began in July 2009 and ends June 2014. If, on March 19, voters approve another five-year cycle, it would begin July 2014 and end June 2019. The tax is expected to generate up to $60 million.
The money will be divided up: Catoosa County, 80.1 percent ($48.06 million); Fort Oglethorpe, 11.9 percent ($7.14 million); Ringgold, 4.2 percent ($2.52 milliion); and Catoosa Utility District Authority, 3.8 percent ($2.28 million).
The money must be used for capital outlay projects, which means the building of parks, schools, roads, and other public facilities. The revenue cannot be used towards operating expenses or most maintenance projects. Capital outlay projects are defined as major projects of a permanent, long-lived nature, such as land and structures. Among the projects included are roads, streets, bridges, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and garbage trucks. While funds cannot be used for most maintenance, SPLOST law allows the expenditure of funds for maintenance and repair of roads, streets and bridges.
Before a vote is held, the county and cities must decide on the projects (hence “special purpose”) and those projects must be presented to voters on the ballots.
Here is a look at the projects.
-- SPLOST funding will ensure many new enhancements for Catoosa County.
-- Fort Oglethorpe‘s plans for 2014 SPLOST.
-- Ringgold prepares for SPLOST projects