CALHOUN — State and local tax revenues in Gordon County continued their upward trends for November, up 17% statewide — beefed up significantly by a new Buc-ee’s location.

“We’re up dramatically on SPLOST and LOST collections,” Gordon County Administrator Jim Ledbetter said at the most recent Board of Commissioners meeting.

The county reported a 30.92% local SPLOST increase in October for 2021 over the previous year, and a 30.85% in LOST collections.

“We had been running up about 17% ... As far as we can tell, this may be the impact of Buc-ee’s,” Ledbetter said. “That means out-of-town money is funding us.”

Buc-ee’s, the Texas-based fuel station and retail chain opened it’s second Georgia location in Gordon County in late August, and has drawn extremely large crowds of both locals and interstate travelers since day one.

“We’ve been pleasantly surprised,” Gordon County Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Kathy Johnson said. “Going in, we had an anticipation we were going to see an increase in not only food and fun, but also fuel. I think they’re proving to exceed what we anticipated and what we had projection.”

Johnson also expressed her pleasure over the out-of-town money Ledbetter referenced that an attraction like Buc-ee’s tends to generate.

“We had a sizable influx of traffic over Labor Day weekend, and that’s starting to show up now,” she said. “It’s tremendous, and with our sales tax — we’re relying on the extra penny for SPLOST, but it’s also an extra penny on ESPLOST — helping fund our local services, schools, other projects, which results in a reduction in local taxes.”

Buc-ee’s isn’t the only major fueling point in the county limits, and the fact that it doesn’t allow semi trucks on its property means those rigs are stopping elsewhere, at travel centers like Love’s, Pilot, and Flying J.

“Our community has quite a few of those entities that we draw revenue from,” Johnson said. “It’s just tremendous, and I think those revenue streams are sometimes taken for granted. I think we’re seeing an impact and we’re going to continue to see it.”

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