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Local News

Cherokee County SPLOST Renewal

The decision to extend the one cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax will move to the voters this November.

During a special called meeting July 28, the Board of Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement with all of Cherokee’s seven cities and a resolution to call for the Nov. 8 referendum.

“The referendum on the ballot in November is a request to continue an existing one cent sales tax. With the approval, Cherokee will remain one of just four Georgia counties with a total 6 percent sales tax rate. All others have 7 percent or more,” said Chairman Harry Johnston. “Projects funded with SPLOST dollars are essential, including local road improvements, public safety equipment and facilities. Without SPLOST, those expenses would have to shift and be paid for using property tax revenues, which would equal about 5 mills to garner the same amount of revenue.”

District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter made the motion to approve the IGA, which was seconded by District 1 Commissioner Steve West. The vote was 3-0. District 2 Commissioner Richard Weatherby and District 4 Commissioner Corey Ragsdale were absent.

The Board also approved a required resolution to call for the referendum. Commissioner West made the motion to approve the resolution, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter. The vote was 3-0.

The current SPLOST will not expire until June of 2024, however, the Board of Commissioners opted to call for the referendum a year early to avoid a special election, which would be an additional cost.

The SPLOST renewal is expected to bring in a total of $438.2 million. The Courthouse Annex project will be allocated first as a Tier 1 project, estimated to cost about $74 million. The remaining $364.2 million will be divided among all jurisdictions based on 2022 population and a 5 percent growth in receipts. Cherokee County’s allotment would be $238.1 million, and the cities would divide $126.1 million for their projects.

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