Augusta residents are set to vote on the consolidated government’s latest special purpose local option sales tax package in a referendum May 20. The Augusta Chronicle is addressing the 1 percent sales tax collection in a continuing series until election day.
Q: Can 1 percent sales tax funds be used to pay people’s salaries?
A: Yes. While Georgia law prohibits using sales taxes to pay for maintenance and operations of government facilities, it makes an exception for roads, streets, bridges and drainage work.
As a result, while the tax can’t be used to staff a new library or pay its utility bill, governments such as Augusta-Richmond County routinely use the tax collections to pay and provide benefits to personnel who complete road and drainage work, including legal work associated with land acquisition, and other tasks associated with the completion of sales tax projects.