SPLOST extension to be on Cherokee ballot

The decision to extend the one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) will move to the voters this November.

Recently, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners approved an agreement with all of Cherokee’s seven cities and a resolution to call for the Nov. 8 referendum.

“The referendum on the ballot in November is a request to continue an existing one-cent sales tax. With the approval, Cherokee will remain one of just four Georgia counties with a total 6 percent sales tax rate. All others have 7 percent or more,” said Chairman Harry Johnston in a statement.

“Projects funded with SPLOST dollars are essential, including local road improvements, public safety equipment and facilities. Without SPLOST, those expenses would have to shift and be paid for using property tax revenues, which would equal about 5 mills to garner the same amount of revenue,” Johnston added.

While the current SPLOST will not expire until June 2024, the board chose to call for the referendum a year early to avoid a special election that would be an additional cost.

The SPLOST renewal is expected to yield $438.2 million.

First, the Courthouse Annex project will be allocated as a Tier 1 project - estimated to cost about $74 million.

The remaining $364.2 million will be divided among all jurisdictions based on the 2022 population and a 5% growth in receipts.

Cherokee County’s allotment would be $238.1 million, and the cities would divide $126.1 million for their projects.

For more information, visit cherokeega.com.