A brief history of the special purpose local option sales tax


Saturday, March 3, 2012 7:33 PM
Last updated Friday, Aug 31, 2012 7:36 PM
  • Follow Elections

1985: Special purpose local option sales tax is created by Georgia Legislature. It gives counties the option to impose a 1-cent sales tax with the money collected from the tax to be used for a list of capital improvement projects, but it must be approved by voters.

Back | Next
Cross Creek High School was the biggest ticket item of Phase I of the special purpose local option sales tax, which was approved by Richmond County voters in 1997. Completed in 1999, the school cost $21.9 million.  FILE/STAFF
Cross Creek High School was the biggest ticket item of Phase I of the special purpose local option sales tax, which was approved by Richmond County voters in 1997. Completed in 1999, the school cost $21.9 million.


• The sales tax extended to school districts

• Richmond County voters approve first local option sales tax for schools. Purpose: Pay off a 1996 bond (also approved by voters) for Phase I of the district’s $300 million School Improvement Program and pay for a new elementary school (Freedom Park Elementary on Fort Gordon).

• First completed local option sales tax-funded projects, all in October: roof repair and replacement at George P. Butler High, John Milledge Elementary, Windsor Spring Elementary

1999: Cross Creek High School, $21.9 million, completed (biggest ticket item of Phase I)

2002: Richmond County voters approve a second sales tax, the second phase of paying off a $300 million bond from 1996, and several new projects

2004: Richmond County Board of Education moves into new headquarters at 864 Broad St. The building was paid for with tax’s revenue.

2005: Municipalities given required share of county local option sales tax revenues


• Phase III of the tax approved

• New athletic complex at Laney High School ($13.5 million); renovations of C.T. Walker Traditional Model School ($10 million); new Deer Chase Elementary ($10.8 million); new Diamond Lakes Elementary ($11.3 million), all completed and funded by phase II of the tax.

2007: W.S. Hornsby School completed ($17 million, funded by phase II)

2009: New Pine Hill Middle School completed ($20 million, funded by phase III)

2010: New Butler High gym, façade and administrative area, track ($10.5 million); new Hephzibah High football stadium/athletic complex, gym and HVAC renovations ($13.7 million)

2011: Renovations to Tubman Education Center (formerly Tubman Middle School) completed ($10.2 million, funded by phase III)


• Phase IV up for a vote Tuesday

• Scheduled completions of replacement John Milledge Elementary, new Richmond County Technical Careers Magnet School, replacement Dorothy Hains Traditional Elementary Magnet (all funded by phase III)

Comments (2) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
seenitB4 03/04/12 - 05:18 am
Won't be easy to pass this

Won't be easy to pass this time though...South Richmond county ain't happy.

dichotomy 03/04/12 - 11:34 am
"ain't happy" don't quite

"ain't happy" don't quite describe it seenit. "one step from armed revolt" is closer. And we should be. The Planning and Zoning folks used a baldfaced lie about the "pending boom of residential construction in south Richmond county" as an excuse to rezone our property and then the RC tax man raised the taxes on our vacant land. Then the commissioners immediately supported a study that said "discourage development south of Spirit Creek". Then they took all of our higher taxes and spent them somewhere....but not out here. Excuse me.....can I get a property tax refund based on intentional fraudulent valuation and blatant discrimination in district based tax spending?

Now, back to the article. A history of SPLOSTs. Here is the history in a nutshell. We gave state an local governments a huge amount of our money and they wasted it, gave it away, defrauded us, put it into pet projects and programs, and NOW they keep coming back with a new SPLOST every year or two wanting us to fund that which we have already paid. That is the history of SPLOST in a nutshell. We gave them 6% of our income in taxes, 4% sales tax, and 12.9 cents per gallon gasoline tax, an undefinable and arbitrary ad valorem tax, and an undefinable amount of PROPERTY tax which is open ended and has two ways for them to stick it to us.....millage rate and "valuation". They tax us when it's coming in, when it's going out, and on stuff that we already have already bought paid every year with an every increasing property tax and ad valorem tax. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Quit giving them the easy way out. Stand up and send them a message. Vote NO on all SPLOSTs and any other sneaky name they come up with for "another tax to pay for something you have already paid for".

We gave them 4% sales tax. They now take 7% sales tax. Now they want 8% sales tax (TSPLOST). And next year or the year after they will want 10% sales tax. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, they are all working like cats covering up you know what to figure out how to RAISE PROPERTY TAXES.....AFTER they get you to approve the 8% sales tax.

These SPLOSTs are not "just a penny". They are an 8% sales tax. And that is addition to our 6% STATE INCOME TAX, outrageous and disproportionate PROPERTY TAX, and a 12.9 cent GASOLINE TAX on every gallon of gas.

They get plenty of money. Stop thinking about giving them more and start thinking about demanding that they use what they already get more judiciously and for what it was originally intended. Cut spending and stop the giveaway programs.

Back to Top
Top headlines
December glitch for Ga. drivers
Drivers with December birthdays are getting a reminder letter instead of a paper bill as the state continues to work through issues with vendors responsible for sending the bills.
Search Augusta jobs