.

Commissioners Approve $200 Million SPLOST Vote

Proceeds of SPLOST VII would fund a new jail, courthouse expansion, animal shelter and emergency water generator. City of Cumming will receive 6.5 percent of overall budget.

Forsyth County voters will be asked to weigh in on a $200 million special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) during a special election in November.

Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Cumming Thursday then adopted a resolution calling for the election that is expected to provide funding for a new courthouse and expansion of the county jail.

The vote on both issues was 4-0 as Commissioner Pete Amos announced earlier in the week that he would recuse himself due to a potential conflict of interest.

Under the agreement, the city will receive $12.5 million or 6.5 percent of the proceeds.

Most of the nearly two dozen speakers who addressed the board spoke in favor of the SPLOST.

Former Commissioner Julian Bowen said, "I support the SPLOST. We've got no choice. We desperately need a new jail." But he cautioned commissioners that the sales tax would face strong opposition.

"It's going to be very close," he said. "A lot of groups are going to oppose it. A lot of people in the north will oppose it because they didn't get projects they wanted included."

Bowen said others would oppose it due to the funding provided for Sharon Forks Library, one of the newer libraries in the county.

Representatives of the Forsyth County Tea Party, Forsyth County Democratic Party and Concerned Citizens for Forsyth County have said they will oppose the SPLOST and will work to defeat it.

Tea Party Founder Steve Voshall said, "This is not the time for a county to build a jail." He estimated SPLOST VII would cost taxpayers between $2,100 and $3,100 per household.

Voshall also called on commissioners to conduct a cost efficiency study by a "disinterested, third party."

In other business, commissioners resolved the long simmering Lanier Golf Course issue by approving the rezoning of the front half of the course to a Master Planned Unit with a Conditional Use Permit for a Continuing Care Retirement Community and the back half Residential-2.

Bill July 23, 2011 at 01:45 PM
Thanks for being a CummingPatch reader, Andy. Actually, the Board of Commissioners voted not to raise the millage rate. The Board of Education voted to increase property taxes even after voters approved the education SPLOST last March.
Andy July 24, 2011 at 06:03 PM
Boards of "whatever" are all attempting to give their own "whatever" departments raises. While many Forsyth County homeowners come off their worst several years of personal revenue, the "leaders" of the county feel it's necessary to take some of that. Let's consider this: the citizens have had to adjust our budgets down to make up for a poor economy and lost wages, what say the county governments and whatever boards do the same. 10% across the board seems fair given what my neighbors and I have gone through.
Hal Schneider July 24, 2011 at 11:57 PM
The SPLOST has become an addiction for the county. They appear to be planning their budgets as if it is an indefinite source of income instead of doing zero-based budgeting every year! After the perceived bait'n'switch tactics of the BOE in the spring in order to pass their SPLOST, I think it is past time for the voters to send a loud and clear message to the county officials that enough is enough. We are experiencing the highest levels of unemployment and foreclosures in years, and the county wants to continue "business as usual". It's time to turn off their money spigot! The courthouse and jail can wait until the economy improves and the taxpayers can actually afford to pay for them!
SOGTP July 25, 2011 at 01:18 PM
Budget problems are not solved by levying tax increases; especially in an economic downturn. Tax increases distort and complicate the budget problem. Raising taxes on one source or revenue SPLOST or millage rates, reduces revenue from either SPLOST or millage rates. If we need a jail and courthouse, first shrink the government and get your budget problems solved. Then look at sources of revenue to build the jail and courthouse. 64% of our taxes go to the welfare state that is lawyers, judges, counselors, parole officers, mental health professionals, etc. The bureaucray of the Judicial welfare state. Shrink this crime family and you'll have enough money to build the Taj Mahal.
bruinsfan October 19, 2011 at 05:55 PM
The school system is no better. Maybe if they would stop driving around busses that are only 20% filled, at best, cut back on school athletic budgets, and close down school gyms in the summer months, we could save quite a bit of cash. Oh, but, that may not work either. The realized savings might go into someone's back pocket.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »