Over the summer, Gwinnett commissioners called for a referendum to be placed on the Nov. 8 general election ballot for the renewal of the one-cent special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST. The current SPLOST program ends next March.
The County and all 16 Gwinnett cities have again agreed to share the proceeds, as they have since 2001. The new program could raise an estimated $950 million over six years to be used for transportation improvements along with public safety, parks and recreation, library relocations and renovations, civic center expansion, senior service facilities and city administrative, parking and cultural facilities plus city water and sewer capital improvements.
Gwinnett County will receive 78.76 percent of the proceeds and the cities will receive 21.24 percent. The County has determined that 65 percent of its share, or an estimated $486 million, will be dedicated to transportation projects such as roads, streets, bridges and sidewalks, including $30.3 million for joint city/county transportation projects. The County has also agreed to set aside approximately $3.7 million for joint parks and recreation improvements.
Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash said, “Transportation improvements continue to be our biggest need and local government leaders agreed that everyone who uses our roads should help pay the cost of improvements. And as we have done in the past, the County will form another citizens committee soon to review and prioritize prospective transportation project categories.”
“Gwinnett County is also committed to addressing our growing senior population and will continue funding for senior centers and equipment in the proposed SPLOST program,” added Nash.
Gwinnett voters have approved a nearly continuous series of SPLOST programs since 1985 that have raised more than $2.9 billion, allowing the County to minimize long-term debt and save more than $1 billion in financing costs compared to issuing bonds.
The current SPLOST ends on March 31, 2017, and is expected to generate about $453 million, with more than half devoted to transportation projects and the rest going to public safety, parks, libraries, senior services, and city improvements.
Additional information about SPLOST can be found online at www.gwinnettSPLOST.com.