Government SPLOST 7 | | | Editor

Sales tax referendum clears procedural hurdle

Thursday, March 6, 2014 8:17 PM
Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 12:21 AM
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Augusta’s special purpose local option sales tax referendum passed a final procedural hurdle Thursday with the Augusta Com­mission signing off on an agreement with Hephzibah and Blythe.

While several commissioners have missed sessions on the tax package and expressed displeasure with the speed at which it was developed, nine of them attended a called meeting and voted unanimously to approve the agreement. Only Commissioner Marion Wil­liams
and Mayor Deke Co­pen­haver were absent.

The deal, required by Georgia law, specifies the funding breakdown among Augusta-Richmond County, Heph­zi­bah and Blythe if voters approve the referendum May 20.

Under the agreement, when collections begin in 2016, funds go first to interest and principal on a $21.7 million general obligation bond that will accompany the tax question on the ballot. Next, up to $987,500 will be paid to Blythe and up to $2.85 million will be disbursed to Hephzibah in both 2016 and 2017. Hephzibah will also receive up to $890,000 a year in 2018-2020, fulfilling the obligations to the two small municipalities. All remaining collections, which Deputy Finance Director Tim Schroer said typically run around $3 million a month, go to the Augusta-Richmond County projects.

The tax package totaled $194 million, including $8.375 million for Hephzibah and $1.975 million for Blythe.

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dickworth1 03/07/14 - 05:35 am
No to splost

This is another joke with taxpayers money. The proposal designates funds to private enterprises and should not be allowed. Augusta wants remodel Miller and imperial theaters, give to paine collegefor cultural whatever, but how about a new idea, take care of the people that need help while out of work or underpaid and struggling to get by. The cultural and arts can wait until better times. Even the mayors Masters get together has collapsed, because no one wants the key to the city, why would they? Par 3 party cancelled, get a life commissioners and get rid of Williams wasting time and money over someone that is no longer employed with the city. Maybe the city and commissioners should be readily available doing weather disasters instead of leaving answering machines on and promising that would call back asap and never do. This city government was not ready for this ice storm and had no plans except to take the week off because of weather conditions and probably with pay. Does the city know it is their responsibility to be there for the citizens doing disasters. You try to talk nice when you want something and then the heck with you after the vote is passed. Vote "no" until we can get some responsible citizens in government.

nocnoc 03/07/14 - 07:41 am
VOTE NO on this version of the proposed SPLOST

See to ref. items discussed:

as submitted on Feb 28, 2014
CRC MD5 check = CECBBE0A437D886C1D5984DB941F9C2B
Size 323 KB (331,048 bytes

Request they withdraw and resubmit a leaner SPLOST, or VOTE NO.

Trim the non-infrastructure items in Section P, address the costs of other items in other sections. Above all the ARC Commission should provide the Voters with Detailed, not generalized 1 line descriptions of where the $194M in taxpayer money is going and why there.

All projects should have NOT TO EXCEED statements.
The Marble Place, park deck, T-Center cost overruns all justify this much needed Statement.

Finally this SPLOST must come in compliance with GA LAW OCGA 48-8-3

dsterling9 03/07/14 - 09:40 am

Here's a novel idea. Why not list each item covered on the new SPLOST as separate line items on the ballot and let 'the people' decide which items to approve. Realizing this would make a VERY long ballot and take up a lot of time but since the 'Commission' doesn't appear to have what it takes to 'get the job done' let the citizens. Just sayin'!

Butterman 03/07/14 - 11:05 am
Just Say No!

Southside voters... remember Wayne voted for this atrocity

Bulldog 03/07/14 - 12:22 pm

After carefully examining the list of items on the current SPLOST documents AND examining the rush to throw this together WITHOUT PUBLIC hearings or INPUT, I strongly believe that a NO vote is the only logical choice. Let's elect some different faces this year and let them redraft this in the full LIGHT OF DAY! That way we can all get a voice on where our money is going!

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