Fighting for SPLOST

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November 8, 2005
We’re less than an hour away from learning if voters have changed the way they feel about a Special Local Option Sales Tax. Some of the projects the one-cent sales tax will be used for are a new jail, courthouse and new library. News 12 is on your side explaining the power behind one penny.

It’s been in place for 20 years, but the future of the one-cent sales tax could end here.

“We’ve just had problems in the past and things are not happening, they are not getting done,” said Jean Holloway, voter.

But Augusta Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director, Barry White, says things are getting done.

“Look at some of the past projects Augusta Common, Diamond Lakes Park, Lake Olmstead,” White said.

Visitor’s Bureau aggressively started a campaign about four weeks ago to gather support for SPLOST. They urge voters to check yes for a better tomorrow.

“It’s things that will make this community better,” White said.

The proposed SPLOST V would provide $160 million for projects like a new jail and judicial center, new library and road improvements. But some voters say the money hasn’t been used wisely in the past.

“If it’s used right it’s alright, but like the other ones they use it, it looks like to me they are wasting a lot of it,” said Billy Warren, voter.

And if voters say no to SPLOST…

“Starting January 1, we will start losing money as a city,” White said.

And that means critical projects will have to wait or be funded with other taxes.

City Administrator Fred Russell says if SPLOST doesn’t pass and a federal judge requires a new jail, most likely taxes will be raised. If passed, some of the bigger projects would begin immediately. And it’s important to note this is not a new tax. It’s an extension of the one-cent that you’re already paying.

Click here for a complete list of projects for SPLOST V.

Past SPLOST Projects:
Public Safety
- New Fire Stations – Fire Station Numbers 1, 19, 7, 12, 8, 15
- New Fire Equipment – 11 fire engines and 2 aerial trucks
- Animal Services Center

Parks & Recreation
- Augusta Aquatics Center
- Augusta Common
- Augusta Golf Course
- Augusta Soccer Park
- Boathouse Community Center
- Brookfield Park
- Diamond Lakes Regional Park
- Eisenhower Park
- Fleming Tennis Center
- Lake Olmstead Park
- McBean Community Park
- Newman Tennis Center
- Sand Hills Park
- Savannah Place Park
- Woodlake Park

Public Works
- Drainage Improvements
- Road Construction and Resurfacing
- Georgia Department of Transportation
- Pedestrian Safety Projects
- Augusta Canal Pedestrian and Bike Trail
- Glenn Hills Drive Sidewalks
- Washington Road Sidewalks
- Transportation Projects
- Capital Improvements