A one-percent sales tax survived controversies in Chatham County yesterday. Voters handily approved another round of the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. That's despite vocal opposition for building a new arena.
Voters in 34 Georgia communities will decide penny sales taxes on Tuesday. Revenues collected from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes would fund a wide variety of local projects. In Atlanta, city voters have the option to approve a potential three-quarters of a billion-dollar tax for water and sewer maintenance.
Three of the state's four legislative special elections Tuesday are headed to a runoff, with no candidate in those districts getting a majority of the votes needed to win. Meanwhile, Valdosta voters decided not to merge their school system with the county, and Bibb voters passed their SPLOST.
Private construction remains relatively weak compared with publicly-financed projects right now. And Savannah's Chatham County wants businesses to know just how to ask for the work. County officials this week held a workshop for builders as they expect about $40 million worth of new public facilies to go up soon.
When the Census numbers come out in April, Georgia cities won't just have federal and state tax dollars at stake. Some cities are concerned they might lose local dollars as well. That's because cities will have to renegotiate with counties for local option sales tax funds. And since those funds are generally split based on population, declining cities could lose yet another funding source.