Resounding SPLOST approval met with relief by county, municipalities

Resounding SPLOST approval met with relief by county, municipalities

Tuesday night, Fayette voters went to the polls and approved a six-year Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) that will help fund a number of key infrastructure and safety projects for the individual municipalities of Fayette County and the county itself. The one-cent SPLOST will generate an estimated $141,014,157 in tax revenue to be divvied up between the County and municipalities based on population.

A roughly 10 percent voter turnout cast more than 8.400 votes with 69.51 percent in favor of the SPLOST. Every district in Fayette passed the measure. Comparatively, Coweta County’s E-SPLOST passed the same night with only a four percent turnout.

Fayette County will receive the largest share of the estimated revenue at 46 percent. Voters in unincorporated Fayette County voted for approval at a 64.5 percent clip.

“The SPLOST will benefit all citizens of Fayette County for years to come,” said County Manager Steve Rapson. “We promised the people that we would do certain things, and we will now follow through on doing just that over the next six years.”

Peachtree City saw the largest support, with 14 percent voter turnout and 78 percent in favor of the SPLOST. Peachtree City will receive 32 percent of the revenue.

“It is a relief that the city will now have the funding necessary to do the projects on the SPLOST list,” said Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch.

Fayetteville had a nine percent turnout, with 67.5 percent voting in favor. Fayetteville will receive 15 percent of revenues. The city is vowing to keep residents involved in the process as they embark on the projects to be funded by the SPLOST.

“At the City of Fayetteville, we felt comfortable with our process as we chose our projects carefully with input and guidance from the community. In the near future, we will be bringing back together our SPLOST Citizen Advisory Committee to discuss the planning process and associated funding for the first few major projects on the city’s list,” said City Manager Ray Gibson. “We will continue to be transparent and inclusive with this process moving forward.”

Brooks brought in the lowest approval rating, with 57.25 percent voting in favor.

The SPLOST is also a prime example of the county and municipalities working together for the betterment of all residents. They each made a concerted effort to educate voters on the SPLOST and what projects it would fund through numerous public meetings and events.

“It looks like the turnout for this type of election was ultimately better than expected,” said Rapson, calling it a “testament to the education efforts of the city and county staff.”

“Residents expect the city and county to work together, and this SPLOST will yield significant improvements in public safety and infrastructure,” said Rapson.

Mayor Fleisch agreed.

“The newfound cooperation between the county and the municipalities was key to the passage of the SPLOST,” she said. “We all worked in varying capacities to ensure that our citizens had the information necessary to make an informed decision.”

Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.