Legality of new Augusta sales tax plan being questioned

News12 at six o'clock/ 4-14-14

Augusta,Ga (WRDW)-----The Augusta Engineering Department will present a $50 million plan to commissioners on Tuesday. Leaders will discuss how the millions from SPLOST 7 will be spent including $1.5 million for Hyde Park and another million and a half for tree removal.

Augusta Commissioner Alvin Mason is calling the process flawed and that's not all. He also says the process is possibly illegal.

The city plans to spend $50 million of your sales tax dollars on buying up property in Hyde Park, cutting trees and creating a sidewalk in South Augusta among other things.

"I think the city should be focused on the roads and especially the back roads," said Neighbor Jonathan Thomson.

Thomson lives on Howard and Peach Orchard. "We have pot holes everywhere, the cracks in it. the kids who live on this street play on it and could get hurt," said Thomson.

Commissioner Alvin Mason is questioning the legality of this years sales tax project list. "It doesn't meet the state mandate and I absolutely know that we can not have two SPLOST taxes going at the same time. The state mandates you do it a year out from your current SPLOST," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

Mason says it's one of many reasons why he can't support it. "What's more important is those folks down in East Augusta who have a pipe that has raw sewage and regular water running through it. It's more important to me," said Mason.

City employees say the Engineering Department needs the money to fix things around the city and without it the people who live here would be affected the most.


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