Frequently Asked Questions
What is the SPLOST vote on November 8?
– 6 year extension of Gwinnett’s Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST), a one cent sales tax, beginning April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2023.
– A projected $950 million will be raised to support infrastructure improvements county wide, benefitting all residents.
What is SPLOST?
SPLOST, or Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, is a one-cent tax on sales throughout the county that allows Gwinnett county and cities to be proactive with capital improvements. It is an efficient and effective funding mechanism made possible by State law that can be executed by citizens of Georgia counties to finance capital outlay projects.
Is this a new tax? Will my taxes increase?
No. SPLOST is not a new tax but renewal of the one cent tax on sales we are currently paying. With the passage of SPLOST Gwinnett’s sales tax rate will remain at 6%. If anything, this great funding option helps keep our property taxes and millage rates as low as possible.
Why is SPLOST a good choice?
SPLOST is paid for by everyone who shops in Gwinnett County – residents and non-residents. It is estimated that 25-30% of sales tax collected in Gwinnett comes from non-residents. This means that people who come into our community and use our roads, parks, libraries and other amenities help offset the cost to keep our community well maintained and constantly improving. SPLOST allows Gwinnett to have cash on-hand to pay as we go to complete such projects debt-free. Since the mid-80s Gwinnett has invested more than $2.9 billion in sales tax funds for these improvements, saving us more than $1 billion in financing costs.
What does SPLOST fund?
SPLOST dollars can only be spent on capital improvements. Defined projects, selected and prioritized by citizens, are named and SPLOST funds can only be spent on those specific projects. The 2016 SPLOST will enable transportation and mobility improvements, ensure public safety, enhance parks and recreation facilities, and relocate and renovate libraries. SPLOST will also support the civic center expansion, improve senior service facilities, and provide tremendous funding support to Gwinnett cities for administrative, parking and cultural facilities, as well as city water and sewer capital improvements.
Who benefits from SPLOST?
Everyone who lives in Gwinnett will benefit from better roads and pedestrian sidewalks, more efficient connectivity, and updated facilities that give us all a better quality of life. From school-aged children to working adults to senior citizens, Gwinnett SPLOST truly benefits everyone.
Does SPLOST revenue benefit Gwinnett cities?
Yes. Just over $200 million (21.24%) of the 2016 SPLOST funds will directly benefit Gwinnett cities. Additionally another $30,338,589 will be invested in joint city/county transportation projects, as well as $3,661,411 in joint parks and recreation improvements.
Who determines how SPLOST money is spent?
- The Citizens Project Selection Committee for transportation will identify and prioritize transportation projects countywide. The committee is made up of representatives from six major interest groups – homeowners, businesses, environmental, schools, civic organizations and seniors. Committee members were selected from among their peers to serve and are charged with recommending how much money to allocate among the different types of projects.
- Citizens serving on the Parks & Recreation Authority guide the prioritization of parks and recreation projects based upon their extensive master plan and capital improvement plan.
- Citizens serving on the Library Board decide on library needs.
- Citizens, via public input meetings, guide the selection of projects made by the Department of Senior Services.
- Public safety projects and other foundation improvements are recommended by county departments based upon short-term and long-term needs they see across our community.
- Each of the 16 cities in Gwinnett has a process to select projects within their own community.
Isn’t SPLOST supposed to be used for a special purpose, not as an ongoing funding source for the County and Cities?
The term “Special Purpose” is meant to ensure that the purpose of the sales tax is clearly defined and designated to fund specific capital improvements that enhance our community’s quality of life. SPLOST can be used for one-time projects or to offer long-term support to meet the “special” needs of our community. Gwinnett citizens continue to support SPLOST and vote to keep this unique funding source in place. Gwinnett SPLOST allows our community to proactively meet our growing and ever changing needs and helps ensure that Gwinnett’s quality of life remains “special.”
What if SPLOST doesn’t pass?
Road improvements, new sidewalks, parks and recreational facilities and other vital foundation improvements will be delayed and some projects may not be completed at all.
What can I do to help?