A special-purpose local option sales tax is a financing method for funding capital outlay projects. It is an optional 1 percent sales tax levied by any county for the purpose of funding the building of parks, schools, roads and other public facilities. The revenue generated cannot be used toward operating expenses or most maintenance projects.
Capital outlay projects are defined as major projects of a permanent, long-lived nature, such as land and structures. Among the projects explicitly included are road, street, bridges, police cars, fire trucks, ambulances and garbage trucks. Georgia law allows counties and municipalities complete discretion over the types of projects selected for SPLOST funding.
While funds cannot be used for most maintenance, SPLOST law explicitly allows the expenditure of funds for maintenance and repair of roads, streets and bridges.
While local commissions have discretion over selection of projects under SPLOST funding, I do not believe it was meant to support outside nongovernmental agencies such as Paine College, Georgia Regents University or local nonprofits.
Additionally there is concern over the $5 million administrative funding. I plan to vote against the SPLOST with hope that it fails, and our elected commission comes forth with a more realistic project list.