Highlights of Bartow County’s proposed 2018 special purpose, local option sales tax package were explained for Adairsville business leaders during a Cartersville-Bartow Chamber sponsored breakfast Thursday.
The SPLOST package will be voted on May 22, but will not go into effect until January 1, 2020.
The ballot language does not go into specifics with respect to any of the projects and projects that the penny tax would raise approximately $160 million over a period of time not to exceed six years.
It also allows for the issuance of general obligation bonds of up to $25 million for Bartow County and up to $20 million in the city of Cartersville to jump start projects before tax revenue starts to roll in.
Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor said SPLOST projects have been critical to growth in Bartow County.
“Since 1989 we’ve raised about $400 million or so, $$397 million I think.” Taylor said.
One of the main projects on the SPLOST list is an expansion of space associated with the Bartow County courthouse, one of the original SPLOST projects from almost 30 years ago.
“We’ll probably start with a parking deck and move on from there,” Taylor said.
If voters approve, a splash pad would be included in the improvements planned for the large Hamilton Crossing Recreation complex, Taylor said.
“The revenues once its built should carry itself. We think the admissions and concession will carry that once it’s built,” said Taylor.
Bartow Magistrate Judge Brandon Bryson, who’s court is currently located in the old Cartersville First Baptist Church building was looking forward to construction of a new judicial services building as part of the SPLOST package. It will bring us all together,” Bryson said.
District Attorney Rosemary Greene said that her office has expanded “exponentially” over the years and that she was looking forward to changes that would bring her additional space.
Bartow Superior Court Clerk Melba Scoggins said work in her office has also grown tremendously. For example, Scoggins told the business group that in 2011, approximately 8,000 deed transfers were recorded by her clerks. That number had grown to more than 17,000 last year.
The commissioner said that if the one penny SPLOST tax was converted to property tax dollars it would require another five mills of taxes.
Sheriff Clark Millsap said a new facility for the drug task force and a new firing range, which would also include an indoor range, are also part of the proposed SPLOST package.