The Carroll County Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) is preparing for a five-year-long transportation improvement project that will support a quality infrastructure for the community’s development. Each city within the county will be responsible for establishing its own priorities based on their diverse transportation needs. T-SPLOST will allot $16,500,000 every year for the next five years to support the county’s transportation improvement.
Marty Smith, chairman of the Carroll County Board of Commissioners, explained, “All municipalities are participating, so it will insure a more vibrant and healthy community. This will be the first time we have had a county-wide plan for infrastructure improvements such as paving, resurfacing, bridges, signaling, and striping of streets and roads that will make the county safer,” he said.
Property tax is currently Carroll County’s largest source of revenue. Adding a penny to the county’s sales tax would be the equivalent of adding 3.5 mills to property tax.
Due to the contribution of sales that are generated primarily through such a large number of non-residents, property owners in Carroll County will not be the primary contributors to this new development, but rather everyone that spends money in Carroll County will. The T-SPLOST tax would not be added certain purchases, including motor fuels, prescription drugs, current farm exemptions, exempt food items and vehicle purchases.
“Approximately 40 percent of all sales in the county are from non-residents. As the county continues to grow, we can expect for sales to continue to grow,” said Smith.
Carroll County is currently responsible for the maintenance of over 1,050 miles of roads. The county currently spends $2,500,000 out of the General Fund to support transportation projects. In order to make this project successful, the expected cost of the improvements will include: $140,000 per mile to properly pave each road, $80,000 per mile to resurface an existing road, and $5,000 per mile to stripe a road. This will result in a total of $82,500,000 over the course of the next five years that will be spent on the improvement of the quality of transportation and roads within the county.
T-SPLOST will generate more money to make improvements for road conditions, to address transportation concerns, and to allow the county to redirect General Fund money to increase Public Safety wages.
“Protecting and improving our community’s infrastructure is crucial to its livelihood. This is especially true when it comes to roads. Having quality streets and highways for residents and visitors to travel on is essential. Allowing sales tax to fund road improvements will free up General Fund money to invest in our other priority Public Safety,” said Smith.
The T-SPLOST will be on the general election ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 6. If the vote is passed, collections for the road improvements will begin on Monday, April 1, 2019.