If SPLOST 7 fails, how will the city pay for ongoing renovations at Augusta Municipal Building?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 1:10 AM
Last updated 3:42 PM
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Augusta residents are set to vote on the consolidated government’s latest special purpose local option sales tax package in a referendum today. An Augusta Chronicle series on the 1 percent sales tax collection concludes today.

Q: If SPLOST 7 fails, how will the city pay for ongoing renovations at the Augusta Municipal Building?

A: While $18 million of the renovation project is paid from SPLOST 6, Augusta commissioners pointed to the new tax package to cover the remaining expense of the massive renovation project and authorized a five-member panel, the Urban Redevelopment Agency, to issue $28.5 million in SPLOST 7-backed bonds for the project.

Pushed in March to get bonds issued to cover project bills, the agency cautiously approved the issue, acknowledging that if the tax ballot failed, the city’s capital outlay budget would be depleted about $2.9 million annually to cover debt service until a SPLOST source is approved.

However, the agency was dissolved last week and its approval of the bond issue voided upon realization that three of its members – Henry Ingram, Terry Elam and Larry Jones – violate a city ordinance by serving on more than one board.

“It was decided the better course would be to have people appointed and not try to find some legal exception to hang your hat on,” said Jim Plunkett, the special city counsel for the bond issue, who expected only a short delay before a new panel approved a new issue.

One of two legal appointments on the board, Brad Owens, said Plunkett’s decision to dissolve the panel and redo the issue ran counter to excuses Plunkett and city staff made in March to get the issue approved – that without it, the project would run out of funds and grind to a halt.

“That’s what we were told was going to happen,” Owens said.

Susan McCord, staff writer

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nocnoc
41099
Points
nocnoc 05/20/14 - 07:04 am
0
1
HAD the Commision adhered to the GA Laws proper PM

This would Not be an issue.

2nd of all this project is coming in at 2+X the original taxpayer told price.

EXAMPLES:
Can SPLOST proceeds be used to pay off revenue bonds that are outstanding at the time of the SPLOST referendum?

No.

While SPLOST can be used to retire existing general obligation debt, it cannot be used to pay off existing revenue bonds.
However, counties may issue revenue bonds after the referendum is
approved to provide funds to get projects initiated before all revenues
are collected. everyone remember the bond discussions

Can SPLOST funds be borrowed to pay for other county services or projects and paid back later from the general fund?
No.

SPLOST funds may only be used for capital outlay projects approved
by the voters in a SPLOST referendum. Furthermore, SPLOST funds must be held in a separate account from
other funds of the county or municipality and cannot in any manner be commingled with any other funds until spent on the approved projects
[O.C.G.A. § 48-8-121 (a)]. Furthermore, the Attorney General has
held that SPLOST proceeds cannot be borrowed from the SPLOST account to pay for other county obligations, even if the funds are paid
back [Op. Atty. Gen. 07-05]. See Appendix J.

I could quote more Ga LAWS and Rulings.

LuvMyTown
2009
Points
LuvMyTown 05/20/14 - 02:38 pm
1
0
Keep Property Taxes Low - Support SPLOST

Vote Yes on SPLOST to keep property taxes down.

nocnoc
41099
Points
nocnoc 05/20/14 - 09:39 pm
1
1
Want lower Property taxes?

Elect People that are fugal with the $$$ and don't political favors for getting elected.

Quit allowing the Commissioners to act like kids in a candy store.

Killing a BAD SPLOST WILL NOT INCREASE Property Taxes. Unless the Commissioners decide to go ahead and spend the Voter denied $194Million dollars.

BTW:
$21Million can easily be CUT out of this SPLOST.
Ask any honest commissioner or read the AC articles that list where it was being spent.

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