The sales tax in Douglas County will increase to 7 percent on April 1st. The Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) approved by the voters will go into effect on that day. The SPLOST referendum was held November 8, 2016.
The SPLOST will last for 6 years, and the projected $160 million in revenues will be proportionately divided between Douglas County and the Cities of Austell, Douglasville and Villa Rica.
The SPLOST was approved by a vote of 51.5% to 48.5% for specific purposes. Douglas County’s designated purposes are 32% for Fire/EMS and a Public Safety Radio System; 51% for Transportation; and 17% for Parks and Recreation. Douglas County will receive 72.37% of the revenue, estimated to be $115,616,000. A detailed list of the County’s SPLOST projects is on the County web site, www.CelebrateDouglasCounty.com, under Programs/2016 SPLOST.
The City of Austell will use its $48,000 portion of the SPLOST for improvements and renovations to Louise Suggs Park.
The City of Douglasville will use its estimated $37,504,000 for transportation and streets (45%), public safety (20%), parks and recreation (20%), and facility infrastructure (15%).
The City of Villa Rica will use its estimated $6,832,000 for transportation and streets (31.9%), water and sewerage (27.1%), public safety (25.6%), and parks and recreation (15.4%).
A SPLOST is used by cities and counties to fund capital improvements. Only capital improvements as defined by State of Georgia law can be funded by a SPLOST. SPLOST funds cannot be used for daily government operations such as salaries and supplies. The category percentages presented in the SPLOST referendum cannot be changed and expenditures must match the percentages.