What is SPLOST?
SPLOST stands for Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. SPLOST is a one-cent sales tax, which the State of Georgia allows counties to collect to fund specific improvement projects. SPLOST must be approved by voters in a general referendum in order to be enacted.
In September 1996, the residents of Henry County voted to approve the first SPLOST program. Between the start of collections in January 1997 and the end of SPLOST I collections in December 2001, the county collected a total of $71,363,187. An additional $3,993,837 was earned through interest, and $1,003,003 was received through Georgia Department of Transportation reimbursements, for a total SPLOST collection of $76,360,026. During the SPLOST I program, approximately 57 percent of the funding was dedicated to road improvements and approximately 43 percent for buildings and parks.
In November 2002, the residents of Henry County again voted to approve a new SPLOST II program. Collection of the one-cent sale tax started in April 2003, and ran through March 2008, with the county receiving an estimated $131,564,883 during the 60-month period. The majority of the revenue from the sales tax, 70%, was used on road and bridge improvements. Public buildings and park and recreation projects were constructed with the remaining 30% of the sales tax revenue. $19,183,341 was split between the four municipalities for their own projects. County staff handled management of the SPLOST II program in-house.
Thanks to an intergovernmental agreement between the County and its four municipalities, SPLOST III, which was approved on November 6, 2007, will last for a maximum of 72 months (six years) and has no cap on revenues. Collections began on April 1, 2008 and will run through March 31, 2014. Once again, the majority of the revenue will be used for road improvements, 70%, with the remaining 30% balance going to building construction and park improvements.
School systems are also allowed one SPLOST for school construction and improvements. The Henry County School System renewed its SPLOST in March 2007. The county SPLOST and school SPLOST are separate taxes.